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The Right Rev. John Wordsworth, D.D., 


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a Prefatory Note and an Historical Introduction. 
By the Right Rev. John Wordsworth, D.D. 
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l\fsro toy 


This book could not have been written without the 
unstinted help and generous confidence of Bishop Words- 
worth's family, among whom I must especially name 
Mrs. Wordsworth and Subdean Wordsworth. Those who 
have supplied material are so numerous, and their assistance 
has been so valuable, that it would be cumbrous to specify 
all and invidious to name some. They are duly named at 
the points where their contributions find place, and grate- 
fully recorded in the index. 

Bishop John Wordsworth was so copious in authorship 
that the bibliography appended to the volume, though I 
hope that it contains all his writings that are landmarks in 
his life, that deal with topics on which he spoke with 
special knowledge, or that are of permanent importance, 
is but a small selection from the mass, A full catalogue 
would have filled a volume in itself. There has been no 
thought of criticism ; certainly no serious student will 
dispense himself from the task of seeking in the Salisbury 
Diocesan Gazette for a full and wise comment upon events 
and thoughts in the English Church during Bishop 
Wordsworth's Episcopate. But it would be an unprofitable 
task to make a calendar of his contributions to that 
Gazette ; and his sermons, dozens of which he printed 
separately in small numbers and with no view to their 
general circulation, are quite inaccessible and therefore, 
with many pamphlets of temporary interest, have been 
omitted. The task of selection, if necessary, has been 


Though I have been entrusted with the duty of writing 
a life, yet as it is that of a man who had a share in 
important events, I have tried to make it contribute in 
some measure to the history both of the University of 
Oxford and of the Church of England ; and if there are 
pages with which dwellers in this country might dispense, 
I may plead that I have been counselled to write also for 
English-speaking readers beyond the seas. 

It must be recorded here that Bishop Wordsworth's 
papers on some important subjects, such as his notes during 
the Bishop of Lincoln's trial and his collections for the 
history of the Swedish Church, have been placed at Mrs. 
Wordsworth's desire in the Archbishop's Library at 
Lambeth. For obvious reasons they are on the reserved 
list, and will not be accessible in this generation to the 

This book was finished before the outbreak of war, by 
which its publication has been delayed. Certain sentiments 
and some modes of expression which it contains have been 
antiquated by the course of events, though they represent 
the mind of thoughtful men at a very recent date. 
Assuredly no one would have been more outspoken on 
behalf of patriotism and public righteousness, had he been 
living to-day, than Bishop John Wordsworth. 

E. W. W. 

October^ 191 5- 



I. Early Life i 

II. New College, Harrow, and Wellington 20 

III. Brasenose College — Latin Scholarship 39 

IV. Brasenose College — Marriage — Theological Work — 

Personal Influence 64 

V. Brasenose College — The Latin Vulgate — Bampton 

Lectures — Oxford Controversies 108 

VI. Oriel College and Rochester Cathedral — Election 

TO Salisbury 128 

VII. The Vulgate New Testament [by Dr. H. J, White] . 140 
VIII. First Days at Salisbury — The Idea of the Episcopal 

Office 157 

IX. Salisbury, 1885-1894 173 

X. New Zealand and Jerusalem 208 

XI. Legal and Constitutional Questions 231 

XII. Pastoral and Liturgical Counsels . 269 

XIII. Relations with other Churches 315 

XIV. Sweden and America — Last Months 349 

Bibliography 397 

INDEX 403 



Bishop John Wordsworth (1905) Frontispiece 

Great Guns at Oxford (John Wordsworth as Proctor, 1874) 80 
Portrait as Oriel Professor 128 

From a photograph by J. J. Eastinead 

Mrs. Wordsworth {1885) 160 

From a photograph by Elliott £r= Fry 

Tomb at Salisbury by Sir George Frampton 396 

From a photograph by G. Sands 



Bishop John Wordsworth was born at Harrow-on-the- 
Hill on St. Matthew's Day, 21st September, 1843, his 
father being then head master of Harrow School. He 
was the third child in the family of seven of Dr. Christopher 
Wordsworth, and the elder of his two sons. The history 
and characteristics of the Wordsworth family have been 
studied in every aspect,^ and it must suffice to say that 
the youngest brother of William Wordsworth, the poet, 
was Christopher Wordsworth (1774-1846), who was 
successively Dean of Bocking, Rector of Lambeth, and 
Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, an ofhce which he 
resigned in 1841. He married in 1804 Priscilla, daughter 
of Charles Lloyd, banker, of Birmingham, and sister of 
Charles Lloyd, the poet and friend of Charles Lamb. 
The lady had been bred a Quakeress, and was baptised 
just before her wedding. To his Lloyd ancestry John 
Wordsworth attached considerable importance. In some 
notes of his early life, written for his children, he says : — 

" The Lloyds were a sensitive, eager, and affectionate 
family, with a good deal of business shrewdness and capacity, 

1 E.g. in Christopher Wordsworth's Life of William Wordsworth, 
his uncle (1851), and Professor Knight's Life of the same (1889). Sir 
Leslie Stephen appends a good bibliography to his article upon the 
poet in the Dictionary of National Biography. Bishop Charles Words- 
worth wrote two volumes of Annals of his life (1891 and 1893), and his 
Episcopate was narrated by his nephew, Bishop John Wordsworth. 
Miss Elizabeth Wordsworth (his daughter) and Canon Overton have 
written the life of Bishop Christopher Wordsworth. Glimpses of the 
Past, by Miss E. Wordsworth, 1912, should be read. 



tempered by a taste for poetry and a strong sense of reKgion. 
... I suspect that what facihty for verse-writing your aunt/ 
and (in a far less degree) I, have comes far more from the 
Lloyds than the Wordsworths ; and I might add that my 
father probably owed to his mother a good part of the power 
of hymn-writing which he showed in his Holy Year. There 
is a certain amount of metrical prose in that book, but there 
are also hymns which are likely to last as long as hymns are 
sung in the Church of England, and touches of poetry even 
in the less poetical ones which ought to keep the book alive 
as a book." 

The gift for verse, of which he speaks so modestly, 
was employed throughout John Wordsworth's life, 
though naturally its chief exercise was in his earlier days. 
Well-wrought sonnets, thoughtful and devout musings 
in the manner of Cowper, dashing descriptions of scenery 
and travel in the metre of the Lady of the Lake, poems 
evidently inspired by A. H. Clough, might be printed 
without inflicting, to say the least, discredit upon their 
author ; but since he chose that they should remain 
unpublished, it is best that they should only be used 
incidentally in these pages, less for their own sake than 
as illustrations of the life. 

The three sons of the Master of Trinity and Priscilla 
Lloyd were all scholars of distinction. John, the eldest, 
(1805-1839), was a Fellow of Trinity, and devoted himself, 
like so many Cambridge students of his day, to the Greek 
dramatists. He would undoubtedly have ranked high 
among English scholars had not weak health and an 
early death disappointed expectation. He died unmarried, 
and his papers passed to his nephew and namesake. 
Bishop John Wordsworth, who always cherished a pride 
in this uncle, and had certainly been stirred to emulation 
by his example. The second son was Charles (1806-1892) , 

1 Miss Elizabeth Wordsworth. 


brilliant in cricket and all athletic accomplishments and 
equally brilliant in classics, whose elegiac epitaph on his 
first wife in Winchester Cathedral is perhaps the most 
admirable of its kind in modern times. He was a Student 
of Christ Church, and as second master of Winchester 
had begun what might have been a great career in England, 
when Tractarian enthusiasm, and the influence of Mr. 
Gladstone, his personal friend, carried him off to Scotland, 
to be the first Warden of Glenalmond. There, and 
afterwards as Bishop of St. Andrews, he lived a long life 
marked by many trials and disappointments. Distance 
kept him and his nephew, the Bishop of Salisbury, apart 
till in the later years of the uncle they came together 
through that interest in ecclesiastical reunion which was 
the absorbing interest of the elder man's life and was also 
a passion with the younger. In what has been the least 
read of the nephew's larger books the Episcopate of 
Charles Wordsworth is narrated. 

The youngest son of the Master of Trinity was 
Christopher (i 807-1 885), whose career at Winchester 
and at Trinity was extraordinary in its scholarly and 
athletic successes. With him scholarship was more than 
the traditional accomplishment of English schools and 
colleges. He had insight into the spirit of Greek poetry. 
Many of his emendations of Theocritus and other writers 
are universally accepted.^ But his chief contribution 
to classical knowledge was in the field of inscriptions and 
of exploration. As a young Fellow of Trinity in 1832-33 
he visited Southern Italy, where he was the first to note 
and to decipher the graffiti of Pompeii. In later years 
Mommsen, who gave him full credit for the achievement, 

1 One of the most astonishingly ingenious of emendations was made 
by him in the Martyrium Poly carpi, § i6. It has been admitted into 
the text by such editors as Zahn and Funk, but is rejected by the cold 
common-sense of Lightfoot {Apostolic Fathers, III., p. 393). Whether 
it be right or wrong, it is memorable. 


requested as editor of the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum 
the use of his notes of travel. He passed on to Greece, 
just liberated, where he had his adventure with brigands, 
and ascertained the site of Dodona. His Greek journeys 
are described in two books, which themselves have become 
classics, his Athens and Attica and Greece, Pictorial 
and Descriptive. But, like his father and his brother 
Charles, he soon turned away from pure scholarship. 
At twenty-nine, without previous experience, he accepted 
the Mastership of Harrow, where he spent eight years. 
Though he left his mark upon the system and the buildings 
of the school, and earned the lasting gratitude of many 
pupils, some of whom became distinguished men, he had 
reason to be thankful when he was promoted to a canonry 
at Westminster by Sir Robert Peel. While at Harrow 
he had married Susanna Hatley, daughter of George 
Frere, of Lincoln's Inn and Twyford House, Herts, head 
of an eminent firm of solicitors, and his three eldest 
children were born at Harrow. The youngest of these 
was the future Bishop of Salisbury. 

The Freres were a numerous and versatile family, on 
his connection with whom John Wordsworth would 
dwell with pride. John Hookham Frere, the diplomatist 
and friend of Canning and the translator of Aristophanes, 
was his mother's uncle; Sir Bartle Frere, the Indian 
and colonial statesman, her first cousin. Seven of the 
family, all of whom passed some part of their life in the 
nineteenth century, are commemorated in the Dictionary 
of National Biography, and one or two more might justly 
have been included. ^ Those nearest to the Bishop of 
Salisbury hold that many of his own characteristics 

1 Among living cousins, the Rev. Walter Howard Frere, historian of 
the Prayer-book and Superior of the Community of the Resurrection, 
must be mentioned. He gave valuable assistance to Bishop John 
Wordsworth in the researches of his later life. 


were those of a Frere rather than of a Wordsworth, and 
that the pecuHarly close sympathy and mutual under- 
standing between his mother and himself was an influence 
of decisive importance on his life.^ His interest in 
scholarship must have been strengthened by the circum- 
stance that her sister, and his godmother, was the wife 
of Charles Merivale, the Dean of Ely and historian of the 
Roman Empire. 2 

Into such a famUy John Wordsworth was born on 
the 2ist September, 1843, a precocious child who could 
observe and judge before he gained the use of his tongue. 
To the end of his days he remembered how he formed 
the resolution, " So soon as I have learned to speak I 
will tell what that naughty nursemaid was doing with 
the jam in the cupboard." It is just to say that this was 
not a temper that followed him through life. The removal 
to the Little Cloister at Westminster took place in his 
infancy, and his home for the next seven years was under 
the shadow of the Abbey. Unlike the other canons. 
Dr. Wordsworth held no further preferment, and it 
was an innovation that he occupied his official residence, 
instead of letting it and making some temporary arrange- 
ment for his two months of necessary attendance at the 
Abbey. His son grew up as an active and fairly healthy 
child, tUl he suffered like many others from the " drain 
fever " as it was then called, due to the reckless amateur 
sanitation of Dean Buckland in opening the immemorial 
cesspools of the Abbey precincts.^ This was in 1848. 

1 Mrs. Wordsworth has been delineated by her daughter in the 
Life of Bishop Christopher Wordsworth, Ch. III. 

* His other sponsors were his uncle John Frere, who died as Rector 
of Cottenham, Cambs., in 1851, and Francis Martin, Senior Fellow and 
Vice-Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, of whom Mr. A. C. Benson 
has drawn a quaint and attractive portrait in the life of his father, 
the Archbishop. 

^ For this calamity, which caused the temporary ruin of West- 
minster School, see Thompson's Memoir of Dean Liddell, p. 117. 


In 1850 followed the death of WilHam Wordsworth, and 
the Canon of Westminster, his nephew, undertook the 
task of writing his memoir. For this purpose he moved 
with his whole family to Rydal, where many months 
were spent. John Wordsworth records that it was his 
" first conscious and full enjoyment of natural beauty." 
A permanent home more suited for a large family of 
young children was gained by Dr. Wordsworth's accept- 
ance, on the presentation of the Chapter of Westminster, 
of the vicarage of Stanford in the Vale with Goosey. It 
was a parish large in acreage and with a scattered popula- 
tion, lying not very picturesquely as to its immediate 
surroundings among the meadows of the Vale of White 
Horse, with Faringdon as its nearest town. The value 
was not great, and as the Vicar had always the assistance 
of one curate, and usually of two, the incumbency did 
not increase his income. The family moved there early 
in 1851. From this time the father made it his custom 
to live at Westminster four months in the year, and thus, 
though the annual visit to London and the opportunities 
of meeting distinguished men were landmarks in the 
children's life, their true home and their chief interests 
were at Stanford, where they remained till Dr. Wordsworth 
became, eighteen years later, the Bishop of Lincoln. 
The place was — 

" exceptionally well provided with field-walks, over stiles 
which were rather trying to our governesses and to us children ; 
and we had early to learn not to be afraid of horned cattle, 
to know something of field flowers, and to acquire a taste for 
jumping brooks and a modest kind of fishing." 

If the interest in fishing disappeared, that in nature grew 
stronger and more informed throughout Wordsworth's 
life. The study of plants was encouraged at Winchester 
by Moberly, and, as a Bishop, John Wordsworth promoted 
the formation of wild-flower classes in the schools of 


his diocese, which disclosed new habitats for many 
rarities and brought to hght many local names. The 
columns of the Salisbury Diocesan Gazette will furnish 
material when a more perfect dialect dictionary than has 
yet appeared is undertaken. He also had a working 
knowledge of geology, could talk of soils and of the surface 
of the land, and would discourse learnedly of the product 
of the quarries in his diocese, Box and Chilmark, Port- 
land and Purbeck. If in passing a house he caught sight 
of an unusual stone, he would return and ring the bell, 
to inquire of the astonished maid whence her master 
had procured his door-step, and he has been seen climbing 
wistfully over a railway-truck of sarsen kerb-stones in 
the hope of finding one small enough to be conveyed home 
in his motor. He formed, indeed, a very complete cabinet 
of specimens of such local materials. It is true that 
his eye for country may have been trained by his experi- 
ence as a young man in the hunting-field, and his know- 
ledge of stones by his zeal as a builder in later life, but 
his love of observation and power of acquiring and 
retaining facts concerning all visible and tangible things 
were developed from this early training. They had their 
fullest scope in his travels through Australia and New 
Zealand, when his notes were full of the strange flowers 
and stones he was seeing for the first time. 

As was to be expected in such a home, the children 
received a careful religious training. The father's most 
successful work, as regards influence and world-wide 
circulation, was his Theophilus Anglicanus, composed 
at Harrow and published in 1843, the year of John's 
birth. But the parents refrained from stimulating the 
feelings of their children. One of the daughters, Mrs. 
Steedman, writes : — 

" They were alike in being very reserved and unemo- 
tional. They had a great dread of making us morbid and 


introspective. They never worked on our feelings or preached 
at us, and they never reproached us with want of affection and 
never uttered a word of self-pity when we were naughty. 
We were early taught reverence and respect for authority 
in Church and State and home, and implicit and instant 
obedience. It was not so much what they said to us as what 
their example taught us. They were always loving and 
coiurteous to each other, and we learned from our earliest 
years never to interrupt or to speak when our elders were 
busy. I never heard them say an unkind word, and they 
always imputed the best motives and were ready to make 
excuses for every one. They were both full of courage, and 
if they beUeved a thing to be right they did it, however painful 
it might be. ... I think on looking back that what impressed 
us most was (i) their sense of duty. We felt without their 
saying it that they were always sensible of God's Presence. 

(2) Their absolute sincerity ; they hved their rehgion. 

(3) Their tenderness and ready sympathy, which was not 
shown by endearing words or much praise. I think they were 
afraid of petting and spoiling, and they never repeated our 
childish sayings or talked of us to others before us. Still we 
felt their love, and were never afraid to tell them anything." 

John Wordsworth's first lessons were naturally at 
his mother's knee, and when, at ten years, the future 
Bishop was sent to his first school, it was they that were 
found to have had the most effect. Mrs. Wallace, of 
Brighton, the mistress, " was much pleased because I 
knew the connection between the rebellion of Korah 
and the chapter which follows about Aaron's rod that 
budded." The young divine had clearly profited by 
his mother's practice of reading the lessons verse by verse 
with her children after breakfast. At Brighton he began 
both Latin and Greek, and the triumph of construing 
his first sentence in the latter language was a landmark 
in his life. But his chief cause of gratitude to Mrs. 
Wallace, whom, with some of her assistants, he bore in 
his memory through life, was that she implanted in him 


a sound knowledge of the Bible and of Church principles. 
Her text-book was Bishop Gastrell's ^ Faith and Duty 
of a Christian, " which I have often recommended as a 
type of what we want our children to know." 

In spite of the lady's corporal severity, of which he 
has left a vivid description, Wordsworth's residence 
at Brighton was happy as well as profitable. So much 
cannot be said of his second school. In 1854 he was sent 
to the Ipswich Grammar School, to be under the Rev. 
S. J. Rigaud, afterwards Bishop of Antigua, whom his 
father had known as second master of Westminster. 
There was a feud between the boarders and the day-boys, 
some of whom were of a rough class ; but since Words- 
worth, like Tom Brown, was roasted before a fire, the 
amenities of the inner life cannot have been great. 

" The morals of the school, both inside and out, were — 
when I now think over them — unwholesome. I did not get 
as much harm from them as I might have done, but I got 
a good deal. I was greatly protected by one or two good 

But, as he acknowledges, the teaching was thorough, and 
he was grateful for the Propria quae maribus and As in 
praesenti. " I am convinced," he wrote in 1907, " that 
both are most useful as helps to accuracy in Latin writing, 
both prose and verse." 2 in the latter accomplishment 
he had attained some proficiency, for he attributes his 
success in entering Winchester to some " rather decent 
Alcaics " that he wrote in competition for the exhibitions. 
It was not intended that he should stay long at 
Ipswich, though the boy was too loyal to tell his parents 

^ Francis Gastrell, Bishop of Chester and in commendam Canon of 
Christ Church, where he was buried in 1725. 

* But he may have learned these verses at home. They are to 
be found in his father's Latin Grammar, the profits of which paid for 
his children's education. 


the Ml facts of his situation. Dr. Wordsworth at first 
thought of the foundation at Eton, but soon turned to 
Winchester. He wordd not have his sons scholars on 
Wykeham's foundation, for he did not regard the children 
of a canon of Westminster as falling within the class of 
pauperes indigentes ; but just at the right time, in 1857, 
exhibitions were instituted for which the only condition 
was intellectual abihty. To one of these John Words- 
worth was elected, and so entered Winchester as one of 
the first exhibitioners in Commoners. " I shall regret 
to lose a pupil who, by God's blessing, would do us much 
credit. I shall also be sorry not to have your son under 
me," wrote Rigaud. 

For John W^ordsworth's career at Winchester we can 
quote a sketch by Mr. A. O. Prickard, his contemporary 
there and at New College and his lifelong friend, ^ which 
shall be supplemented from notes by the Bishop himself 
and by others : — 

" John Wordsworth came to Winchester in September, 
1857, ^s a Commoner, i.e. an inmate of ' New Commoners,' 
built by Dr. George Moberly in 1843, and, in theory, part of 
his house, though structurally separate ; just as his uncle 
and father, John and Christopher Wordsworth, had been 
inmates of ' Old Commoners ' under Dr. Gabell and Dr. 
Wniiams. He was placed at once in ' Senior Part of Fifth 
Book,' the lower of the two divisions (60 or 70 boys in all), 
which were the head master's personal charge. This was an 
unusual place for a new-comer ; it carried immunity from 
general fagging, and rather later on questions rose upon this 
point, which somewhat sharply divided our small society. 
No such question was raised against John Wordsworth. He 
was an exceptional person, if only because of the wonderful 
learning which he brought with him, coming to him partly 
by inheritance and from home atmosphere, partly through 

1 Contributed, with others of which we shall make use, to the 
Salisbury Diocesan Gazette, 1911, p. 186. 


school training at Ipswich under Dr. Rigaud. Besides this, 
there was so much nature, and good nature, in him, loyalty 
to his fellows and absence of any sort of pretence, that he 
was at once accepted, and, as he became better known, beloved 
all round. He was tall for fourteen, large boned, and loose 
of limb, very light in hair and complexion, with the strongly- 
marked face-features of his race, more rugged and apparent 
then than they were in middle and later life. As I look back 
on what he was, intellectually, then and afterwards, it 
seems as if there were all the while two natures, or two horses 
of the soul bearing the one nature forward with unequal pace. 
There was the neat, precise scholarship, corresponding to 
the beautiful handwriting which never much varied at any 
part of his life. Thus he came to school with a knowledge 
of the finer points of the Greek Iambic Metre, which amazed 
us, and was a delight to Dr. Moberly. Again, he had (hke 
his uncle Charles) a charming hand in Latin Elegiacs, an 
accompHshment which, perhaps, had not very free scope in 
the Winchester course. This side of him admitted of steady 
accumulation of knowledge and orderly advance, and he 
became a ' good scholar,' such as Conington would welcome, 
and indeed did welcome and value later on. On the other 
side, there was the strong, wayward brain, always amassing 
strange discoveries from likely and unlikely sources, brooding 
over and correlating them, but also freely pouring out to 
hearers, who never thought of pedantry because it was all 
so natural. I dweU on this double development, because it 
was, I think, the cause of comparative want of success in 
examinations— comparative, I mean, in view of his acknow- 
ledged powers. He carried off many prizes, and was elected 
to a scholarship at New College a year before he was ready 
to accept one ; but it was not till 1867, when he gained a 
Craven Scholarship, that his friends felt that his gifts had 
met with an adequate reward. Nor did he at once find an 
Oxford Fellowship open to him, until a happy train of cir- 
cumstances brought him to Brasenose in 1867. But, above 
and beyond any temporary retardation of a career, it would, 
perhaps, not be untrue to say that he was all his life criticising 
and harmonising his vast stores of material, working out their 
true bearings on the world of Nature or of men. Things were 


to him what they were, not what people might think them to 
be. Thus he would at times seem not to heed the limitations 
of his hearers — they ought to be interested ; they will be 
interested some day ; the hnks of thought will become clear, 
at least to some of them. Only, perhaps, when he was deeply 
moved, as he readily was, by moral, or patriotic, or civic 
enthusiasm, were the mists whoUy rolled away, and he spoke, 
heart to heart, with fervid simphcity. However this may be, 
the effect upon schoolboys of so much learning and such 
strange inconsequence was the natural one : — 

' Some called it madness — so indeed it was. 
If prophecy be madness.' ^ 

When he gave out, in all good faith, that his soul could and 
did travel abroad, leaving his body at home (Hke Horace's 
Democritus, but I think the source of the legend was really 
a less familiar one), he easily earned the title of ' mad/ 
always one of honour and affection among boys. In his early 
time his study, one of some twenty cells, seven feet or so by 
five, opening directly upon the Court, was exposed to frequent 
sieges by curious juniors. I do not think that any harm to 
property or temper was done ; such fun as there was lay in 
the spirited defence of his hearth by the owner. Of course, 
such inroads ceased when he became a praefect ; he held this 
office for three years, during the last months of which he was 
' Senior Commoner Prsefect,' a responsible post in a somewhat 
turbulent commonwealth. Nothing sensational marked the 
period, and his rule was firm and sensible. He never seemed 
to be attracted to cricket, in which his father and uncle 
(Charles) had great reputations. He was short-sighted, and 
opportunities, for others than those in or near ' Lords ' or 
the Commoners' Eleven, were not what they are in modern 
times. He was a strong and useful football player. I do 
not remember exactly what position he reached ; but in 
Oxford, where Winchester football had a vigorous but inter- 
mittent and rather cloistered existence, presided over by two 
' Deans ' elected in New College, he filled one of these offices 
with great efficiency." 

^ Wordsworth's Prelude, Book III. 


Wordsworth entered Winchester as a strongly-built 
boy, healthy save for a slight rheumatism which hung 
about him for life, after an attack of rheumatic fever 
at Ipswich. 

" I was never a great athlete at Winchester, as my father, 
to some extent at least, had been.^ I was unhandy at 
cricket, partly from shyness, partly from short sight. But 
I played better at football and got into Twenty-two in Com- 
moners, and either into ' Second Six and Six ' or into ' Dress ' 
for it. In our days Commoners was still rather rough. For 
parts of two winters our studies were without hot -water pipes, 
owing to some failure of the apparatus. Our seats in Cathedral 
were without backs, and we turned our backs to Hsten, as 
much as was natural to boys to do, to the sermons. I do not 
remember with any distinctness or pleasure any one sermon 
in the Cathedral. But we enjoyed Dr. Moberly's in the chapel, 
and we loved the simplicity of Warden Barter, himself a 
sort of grown-up boy. He was always most kind to me, and 
I was generally at his house when not elsewhere on leave out 

Of the education he reports that — 

" Moberly's preparation for Confirmation was very good, and 
he made the Prayer-book interesting.^ I was confirmed 
by Bishop Sumner, of Winchester, but do not recoUect the 
occasion as particularly impressive. The teacher we boys 
generally loved most was John Desborough Walford, the sole 
mathematical master (at first) unless ' Peter the Whaler,' 
as we called him (his name was Whale) could be so called. 
J. D. W. was a master, I think, for about forty years and 
latterly was Bursar. He knew exactly how to treat boys 
and to get something out of even idle ones. I never could 
reaUy keep trigonometry in my head, though I ploughed 
through a good part of it somehow." ^ 

1 This is an understatement. See Sir J. E. Eardley Wilmot in the 
Memoir of Christopher Wordsworth, Ch. I. 

2 For an account of his method see Miss Moberly's Life of her 
father, Dulce domum, p. 124. 

^ Yet Miss E. Wordsworth (Salisbury Diocesan Gazette, 191 1, 


Among his contemporaries he names especially Herbert 
Stewart, afterwards the general mortally wounded at 
Abu Klea in 1885 — 

" a good cricketer and a popular boy, of bright, frank, manly 
character, but very idle. I remember Moberly saying to 
him when we were up to books, ' You gentlemen in the Eleven 
think yourselves great men,' when I suppose he made some 
blunder in construing or failed to answer some easy question." 

Friends outside the school were Mrs. Lyall, widow of 
the Dean of Canterbury, and the Heathcotes of Hursley, 
from whose house — 

" once or twice we were allowed to go and see Mr. Keble, 
and to have some kind of meal at his house. I carried away 
an impression of him, though I could not put it into words." 

Dr. Moberly himself was the dominant force at Win- 
chester. He knew how to apply every stimulus to his 
more promising pupils, and not least that of sarcasm — 
" the terrors of his quick and unexpected wit," as Dean 
Church called it — which he employed to a degree that 
modern teachers might not approve. Wordsworth 
remembered the special enjoyment with which he taught 
Theocritus and Pindar, an enjoyment which he succeeded 
in imparting to his class, though Wordsworth, who recog- 
nised the charm of the lesser poet, was refractory in 
the case of Pindar. " I never got over the sense of 
strain and farfetchedness," he says. But one of Moberly 's 
chief merits was that he encouraged his boys to read 
for themselves. Their interests expanded beyond the 

p. 124) tells us : " He had quite a fair amount of mathematical ability 
and an excellent head for figures. Almost the last time I ever saw 
him, only a few months before his death, he was trying to explain to 
us some ingenious experiments in the powers of numbers with which 
he had amused himself during his long motor drives." His interest 
in the art of building is also proof of a mathematical bent ; and at 
Winchester he actually won the Duncan prize for mathematics. 


traditional studies ; we hear of an ambitious boy aware 
of the new realm of philology, and reading Donaldson's 
New Cratylus at his meals. At Oxford Wordsworth threw 
himself into the same pursuit in a more scientific way. 
At Winchester his curiosity was to cost him the chief 
prize of the school, the Goddard Scholarship, which he 
lost, it is believed, because he was tempted to read the 
Trachiniae when he should have devoted himself to 
books more fruitful in marks. But he says that the 
lessons which made most impression upon him and his 
contemporaries were those on Scripture. Coming from 
such a home, he had a predisposition for divinity ; on 
the 27th November, 1858, writing to announce that he is 
just confirmed, and is to receive the Holy Communion 
on the approaching Advent Sunday, he tells his father — 

" I have lately got a Septuagint. It is printed at Cambridge 
by Field, 1665, and I believe it is a good edition. There 
are a good many rather curious abbreviations in it, so I cannot 
read it very well." 

The bibliographical touch is thoroughly characteristic of 
the future scholar. But Moberly's success in awakening 
this interest was not confined to one member of his class. 
When Wordsworth and his companions were gone to 
the University, he would recall " my theologians," in 
a reproachful comparison between them and their less 
appreciative successors. 

So Wordsworth grew in knowledge, and also in cha- 
racter. He became Head Prsefect of Commoners, and 
made vigorous use of his prerogative of " funding " for 
the suppression of such mischief as had repelled him at 
Ipswich. Poring over his books with his single eyeglass, 
he rose in the school so rapidly that in i860, in his seven- 
teenth year, he was elected to New College. His father 
declined the election for him on the double ground of 


youth, to which Moberly assented, and of a preference 
for Cambridge, shared by father and son, with which 
Moberly had no sympathy. Next year he was again 
elected, and this time, in spite of John Wordsworth's 
renewed petition for Cambridge, his father decided that 
he should go to Oxford. The older man was in the habit 
of seeking guidance from the course of events, and it 
seemed, his daughter says, a sort of flying in the face of 
Providence to refuse so good a prospect a second time. 
The son left Winchester in the summer of 1861, and 
matriculated from New College in the October. He was 
always a grateful son of his ancient school, and was 
doubtless thankful that he had no small share in the 
remarkable succession of academical triumphs which 
illustrated 1866 and 1867, the last years of Dr. Moberly's 

This chapter must close with some words as to the 
home influences to which the boy was subjected as his 
talents and character developed. Undoubtedly Dr. 
Wordsworth's children grew up under a strenuous rule. 
He did not spare himself or his family. They learned 
industry and simplicity of life ; nothing, to the end of 
his days, was more repugnant to Bishop John Words- 
worth than either indolence or luxury. But they were 
rewarded by being taken into their father's confidence. 
If he expected an answer when he inquired into their 
work, he discussed with them his own, and it is remembered 
as a proud, though sometimes terrifying, experience that 
he would ask them, when he was at work upon his Com- 
mentaries, how they would interpret some knotty passage 
of Scripture. He would reward their answer, such as it 
might be, by pouring out his own information and thoughts 
upon the topic. This he called making them his anvils ; 
and in later life the son has been known, with a change of 
metaphor, to advise the clergy of his diocese to employ 


their wives and children as whetstones. There must 
have been a powerful stimulus in this interchange of 
thoughts, and in the granting of a share, however modest, 
in a real work. For the boys were set definite scholarly 
tasks in their holidays, in aid of their father, and the 
sense that this was work done for a definite purpose, 
and not a mere exercise, must have heightened its interest 
and awakened an honourable ambition. Nearly at the 
end of his life, in his Easter sermon in Salisbury Cathedral 
in 1910, Bishop Wordsworth describes the literary side 
of his early home.^ 

" There rises before me the vision of a small room in a 
country vicarage — a room of rather irregular shape, with a 
large bay window on its southern side. Its waUs are covered 
by books and bookshelves, and in the centre is a table loaded 
with open books, while books in all positions cover the floor 
and furniture. At the table is a black-haired, spare-framed, 
bending figure, writing rapidly, with eager quick- moving 
eyes, sometimes raised to look at the text which is inscribed 
in large letters all around above the bookcases. The words 
are the Greek original of this verse of St. Paul's ; 2 the writer 
is engaged upon a Bible Commentary, which is filled from end 
to end with the thought that the Old Testament is trans- 
formed and transfigured in the New. He sees aU things in 
Christ. This verse is the motto of his Commentary, and he, 
in his own person and character, is a Hving example of the 
penetrative power of the life of his Saviour — a fife which has 
so caught hold of him that he lives in the world as not of the 

The books, which doubtless overflowed into every 
room of Stanford Vicarage as they afterwards did into 
the corridors of the Salisbury Palace, played no small part 
in the education of John Wordsworth. Access to what 
was already one of the noblest of working libraries of 

^ Diocesan Gazette, 1910, p. 135. 

^ 2 Cor. V. 17, the text of the sermon. 


classics, history, and theology was an inestimate privilege. 
Originally formed by the Master of Trinity and augmented 
by the elder John Wordsworth, in the hands of the Bishop 
of Lincoln, it must have contained some 15,000 volumes ; 
and though it was diminished by sale and division at 
his death to the extent of at least 5000, it had exceeded 
its former dimensions when the Bishop of Salisbury died. 
All that was essential has been retained for the service 
of a fourth generation of Wor ds worths. ^ 

But the hfe at Stanford was not that of a family of 
book-worms. There were the inevitable experiments 
that schoolboys will practise in the stable with chemicals 
and test-tubes. The sons were allowed to entertain the 
parish with home-made squibs and crackers and Roman 
candles, and the times were so primitive that when they 
played football with the village boys it was with a 
bladder procured from the local butcher and covered by 
the cobbler. There was also a training, which left perma- 
nent marks, at forge and lathe. Of the carpenter's art, 
especially, John Wordsworth had considerable knowledge. 
When, in 1898, he paid a flying visit of two days to Cairo 
on his way to Palestine, the carpentry of ancient Egypt 
was the one subject to which he paid a detailed attention. 
In his diary he described, with working drawings and 
in technical terms, the joints employed in making the 
mummy-case for a Pharaoh. One further art he learned 
at Winchester and practised usefully, if roughly, to the 
end of his days, that of the bookbinder. 2 But the life 
at Stanford was not lived unduly indoors. There were 

1 Perhaps the proof-sheets of William Wordsworth's Lyrical 
Ballads are the most valuable element. 

2 His sister Mary (Mrs. Trebeck), who was his special ally, enume- 
rates among the objects of his knowledge, " locks, springs, compasses, 
gardening, the habits of animals, engravings, etchings, genealogies, 
derivations, even needlework in all its branches." He taught her " the 
names of ferns and flowers, map-drawing, perspective, and carpentering." 


always horses or ponies, and the sons learned to ride and 
drive ; and though the steeds were perhaps as sedate as 
those of most parsonages — one of them was named 
Denis after the patron Saint of the parish, because he 
was as steady as a church — they also came to hunt, a 
practice continued by John Wordsworth till his ordina- 
tion. He took his exercise on horseback for some years 
after his consecration. 

One final and powerful influence of the home must be 
mentioned. The family was united in affection and also 
in a sense of mutual responsibility, not only for each other's 
welfare but for the maintenance of an honourable tradition. 
It is clear that this feeling, never allowed to degenerate 
into vanity, was a source of strength to the household 
which cherished it ; a household in which the birthdays 
were never forgotten. 



John Wordsworth matriculated from New College in 
October, 1861, being just eighteen years of age. In some 
notes of his earlier life, written in 1891, he says : — 

" New College was, when I first went up, probably the 
smallest College in the University, having less than thirty 
undergraduates ; just as Commoners at Winchester was at 
its lowest ebb when I entered, having less than the number of 
scholars (70). When I left Oxford in 1885 New College had 
risen to be one of the largest Colleges, and in some points 
the most respected in Oxford. There was always a certain 
coldness of tone about the reUgion of the College, which 
was a disadvantage to it. Dr. SeweU ^ was not an enthusiast 
Hke his brother WiUiam, though he possessed quahties which 
the latter lacked ; and I cannot remember any pronounced 
Churchman of any party ever being on the tutorial staff. 
In my days this coldness was the more depressing as we were 
a small body for our buddings, and there were elements of 
old-fashioned roughness and coarseness both amongst under- 
graduates and junior Fellows, which made it not altogether 
a wholesome society. I have always thanked God that 
my experience at Oxford was not limited to one College, and 
that rather a pecuUar one, in which undergraduate FeUows 
still existed when I went up, and which had only recently 
rehnquished its right of granting graces for degrees without 
submitting its students to University examinations. My 
tutor was Edward Fox.2 Faber and Austin (afterwards 

1 James E. SeweU, Warden 1860-1903. His brother William 
was Fellow of Exeter and Founder of Radley Colleges. 

2 Rector of Heyford Warren, Oxon., 1878-1888. 


Austin Gourlay) were also tutors. The most active tutor 
was E. C. Wickham,^ who was one of the first, I suppose, 
in Oxford to do a really large amount of private work with 
undergraduates. Through his advice I, with others, went to 
Professor Jowett with essays and compositions. His criticism 
was severe, and I do not think he encouraged us much, perhaps 
not enough, but no doubt he was familiar with generations 
of clever undergraduates and with the conceit habitual to 
the species. He seemed always anxious to poke the fire 
when you read any particularly interesting or rhetorical 
passage. Certainly we learnt from him something of the 
spirit of the old motto, m^e koI /Ae/Avao-' dTrto-Tetv, " Keep your 
head clear and be sceptical," at any rate as regards rash 
assumptions and second-hand evidence. I do not remember 
anything directly tending to religious doubt, though one was 
naturally conscious of being in the company of one who was 
then considered an heresiarch, and who certainly seemed to 
me to have done injury to the faith of many men who had 
passed under his influence. I am inclined to think that his 
chief faults were coldness of temperament and a desire to 
have things his own way. But he certainly set a much 
needed example of professorial activity and of readiness to 
help young men. It was not creditable to the other studies, 
especially Theology, that the two Professors who saw most 
of younger students were those of Greek (Jowett) and Latin 
(Conington). All this changed afterwards when Bright, 
Liddon, King, and, in his own way, Mozley, became Professors. 
Pusey had always influence as a preacher and as a teacher 
over the few who really studied with him, of whom I regret 
to say that I was not one." 

John Wordsworth lived a strenuous life at New College, 
and a full one. He breakfasted before chapel, at which 
his attendance was regular. As we have seen, he played 
football, and he served in the University Volunteers. 

1 See his Memoir, by Lonsdale Ragg, p. 55, for Wordsworth's 
estimate of the future Dean of Lincoln. He was " a trifle severe and 
slow to praise or encourage. I remember with gratitude a neat pencil 
remark on one of my compositions, ' O si sic omnia.' " 


But above all things he was a student. His lifelong friend. 
Chancellor Bernard/ writes : — 

" My first recollection of Bishop Wordsworth is a character- 
istic one and still a clear picture in my mind. I was in a 
room in New College ; I think it was that of another scholar, 
Edgar Jacob, now Bishop of St. Albans. Wordsworth came 
in and without a word or look to the company went straight 
to the bookshelves and peered into them, taking out first 
one volume and then another." 

Yet he was no recluse. His taste in friends, we are told,^ 
though not indiscriminate, was catholic. He belonged 
to the " Dressing Gown and Slipper Club," which met 
on Saturday evenings for whist at sixpenny points and 
had rules composed in the mock medievalism that was 
then in fashion. He was one of the founders, and since 
he carried off and retained its minute book, the club seems 
not to have survived more than one undergraduate 
generation. His chief friends and rivals from Winchester 
were J. T. Bramston, W. Moore, and A. O. Prickard.^ 

" In New College," says the last, "there were the present 
Warden and W. J. Courthope, C.B., author of the Paradise of 
Birds and also of the History of English Poetry, the first volume 
of which bears the Bishop's name in its dedication, and every 
volume of which in succession was an interest and a pleasure 
to him. Of outside friends I wiU only name (by their then 
familiar names, if I may) E. R. Bernard, Edward Talbot,^ 
J. L. Strachan-Davidson, and C. T. D. Acland." 

His heartiness was indicated by what a friend called 
the "bone-cracking grip" of his hand, and he was 

1 E. R. Bernard, of Exeter College, afterwards Fellow of Magdalen, 
Canon'^and Chancellor of Sarum. 

2 By Mr. A. O. Prickard, Salisbury Diocesan Gazette, igii, p. 187. 

* Mr. Bramston is now retired, after many years of mastership 
at Winchester. Mr. Moore, sometime Fellow of Magdalen, has recently 
died as Rector of Appleton, Berks. Mr. Prickard, Fellow of New 
College, has resigned his tutorship in the College. 

* Bishop of Winchester. 


fortunate in the nearness of his home in the Vale of 
White Horse, at which his Oxford friends were welcome 
guests. There also he enjoyed an active life. In one 
Christmas vacation from New College eight dances and 
several good runs are noted in his diary, and he also 
practised singing. On one occasion he sang "The people 
that walked," from the Messiah, before an audience of 
two hundred at a Stanford concert. 

" I did not sing it well, but do not despair of improving 
— of learning music and drawing, German, Hebrew. Perhaps 
the desire for self-culture is selfish. The answer is of course 
just, that though God has no need of human knowledge he 
has no need of human ignorance, and perhaps too the use of 
the intellectual faculties to their fullest extent, not merely 
m the daily work of life, may be a duty." 

Another of his recreations gives Wordsworth a modest 
place in the history of lighter verse. Towards the end 
of his days at New College, but while he was still in 
statu pupillari, he was visited by his brother from Cam- 
bridge. They went to play pool at a billiard-room in 
Holywell, and one of the company, missing a stroke, 
used an expletive for which John Wordsworth suggested, 
" What the digamma," as an alternative. The fame 
of this reproof spread abroad ; it had reached Wellington 
before Wordsworth arrived there, and gave him a reputa- 
tion for readiness of wit which perhaps was not quite 
sustained. Mr. J. D. Lester, ^ a Wellington Master with 

^ Joseph Dunn Lester, of Jesus College, Oxford, B.A. 1865, became 
master at Wellington in 1867, and wrote verses on Herodotus and other 
classic authors in the same spirit as those on Homer. He died at 
Wellington in December, 1875. Mr. A. D. Godley handed on the torch 
from Lester in 1891 (see More Echoes from the Oxford Magazine) ; it 
is remembered that Mr. C. L. Dodgson was so shocked that he pro- 
posed that the Christ Church Common Room should no longer subscribe 
to the peccant magazine. There are several variae lectiones, though none 
in the sixth line, and the author burdened his poem with two further 
lines, which do not appear in Mr. Godley's edition, which is used here. 


some of Calverley's gifts, borrowed the phrase for one 
of his jeux d' esprit on the classical authors : — 

" Poluphloisboisterous Homer of old 
Threw all his augments into the sea, 
Although he had often been courteously told 

That perfect imperfects begin with an e ; 
But the poet repUed with a dignified air 
' What the Digamma does any one care ? ' " 

It is needless to say that Wordsworth was a diligent 
student, and that he was interested in the classics to 
be read for Moderations. The minute and accurate 
scholarship of Wickham, with his interest in grammar 
and philology, then popular through the writings of 
Max Miiller, had a lasting influence on Wordsworth's 
mind.i He competed without success for the Universit}' 
scholarships in classics, but was placed in the first class 
in Moderations. By this time he had become one of the 
" Coningtonians," as he calls them. Professor Conington 
took pleasure in the friendship of the abler undergraduates, 
taking them on reading parties and writing them long 
letters, in which it must be said that he put himself on 
their level, his topics being their comparative merits in 
composition and their prospects of success in Hertford 
or Ireland or Fellowship examinations. Wordsworth 
joined his reading party at Ilkley in the Long Vacation of 
1863. " I think I am learning a good deal from Coning- 
ton," he writes to a friend. " He works very hard with 
us and has plenty of information of various kinds, besides 

1 Chancellor Bernard records an unusual attempt at classical 
proficiency — " A Latin dinner party, at which Latin only was to be 
spoken, which Wordsworth and I gave in our joint lodgings in New 
College Lane on ist December, 1865. The idea, I think, was his, but 
the invitations, of course in Latin, were from us both. The only 
survivor of the company is Mr. R. W. Raper, of Trinity. I do not 
remember the conversation, but I think we got on pretty well, after 
a first blank and hopeless endeavour to greet one another as the guests 


actual scholarship." They read the Agamemnon, which 
he hopes will be of use for the Ireland scholarship, though 
he confesses that it wiU not help him for Literae 
Humaniores. After the party had broken up, Conington 
writes (9th September, 1863) : — 

" I hope you are in good heart about your work. I shall 
be surprised if it does not produce something in the way of 
prizes or scholarships before your Oxford time is over, and 
I am quite sure that if you eventually fix on scholarship as 
your metier, you may do something really effective." 

Of him Bishop Wordsworth wrote in 1891 : — 

" At Oxford my kindest friend was John Conington, to 
whom with his large circle of undergraduate and younger 
graduate friends I owed a great deal. He was a man of 
wonderful memory for all sorts of things, something like 
Albert Watson,^ but surpassing him in verbal memory. 
He was perfectly simple and unpretending, religious yet full 
of common sense and criticism, most stimulating as a talker 
without being unsettling. Originally, I think, like the rest 
of his family, he was strongly evangelical, then liberal and 
somewhat sceptical, then converted again (I believe by fear 
of death and eternal punishment) and living with a sort of 
cloud upon him which perhaps was premonitory of his early 
and somewhat strange and sudden death. He was not exactly 
a poet. There was something heavy and ungainly about his 
verses, naturally I mean, that there was about his own person 
and manner. But he had such a command of language, 
through his wonderful memory and constant habit of versifying, 
and put such strength of will into all his work, that he forced 
all that he did to be good up to a certain point. His trans- 
lation of Horace shows this power. He was naturally fondest 
of Greek, especially of Aeschylus, which he ought to have 
edited rather than Virgil. Friendship with him brought 
me the friendship of W. J. Courthope, of P. F. Willert, J. L. 
Strachan-Davidson, of Raper ; of Alfred Robinson and T. H. 

1 Fellow of B.N.C. 1852-1886; Principal, 1886-1889. Fellow from 
1 890 till his death in 1 904 . Editor of the well-known Select Letters of Cicero . 


Green among graduates, and of others, including to some 
extent older men like Goldwin Smith and Henry Smith the 
mathematician, who was also an excellent scholar. L. G. 
Mylne (Bishop of Bombay) was also a great friend of his as 
an undergraduate." 

Conington's influence led to an active exercise of 
classical versification on the part of his young admirers, 
and Wordsworth has preserved many specimens in many 
metres. His pen was also busy with English verse during 
his undergraduate years. An Oxford influence was that 
of A. H. Clough, to whom some friends saw a resemblance 
in Wordsworth. Certainly for a time Clough tinged his 
imagination. More significant for the future was a 
long poem after the fashion of Cowper on the service 
for the Visitation of the Sick, composed in 1862. Words- 
worth's first appearance in print was poetical. In 1864 
the National Society published a little anonymous volume 
of Ballads from English History, with a preface by 
Dr. Christopher Wordsworth. The Ballads have been 
communicated to him in manuscript, and he commends 
them to the public as " presenting to the minds of young 
persons some interesting events of English history in a 
manner which appears to be well adapted to promote 
their growth in sound principles of religion, loyalty, and 
patriotism, as well as to supply an agreeable exercise 
to their memory and imagination." The authors were 
John Wordsworth, his eldest sister, and an aunt. Miss 
Frere, and it may be said that the order of seniority is 
also the order of merit. The youngest poet wrote on 
St. Alban and St. Gregory and the Angles. It may suffice 
to quote one stanza from the former ballad : — 

" Then, like Cornelius, Alban lived 
A Roman soldier true ; 
But heathen still, for nothing he 
Of Christian teaching knew, 


Till to his door, one night in fear 

A Christian priest did come, 
And prayed for shelter from his foes. 

And for that night a home." 

Before and after this time he wrote many better verses 
than these. But it is strange that there is no evidence 
that he ever composed a hymn. 

Browning was the dominant poetical influence of the 
day, and the interpretation of poetry as serious a business 
as the composition. The abler undergraduates gravely 
analysed such poems as James Lee's Wife and others 
of the Dramatis Personae, and interchanged their views 
by correspondence or at essay clubs. Ruskin also was 
influential. We find Wordsworth working carefully at 
an essay for the " Old Mortality " club on the grotesque 
in art, in which he argued that the highest art must have 
an element of the grotesque ; and he studied architecture 
and sketched prettily after the custom of the day. But 
if he followed Browning and Ruskin (though there is no 
trace of his being drawn towards the social programmes of 
the latter), he paid no heed whatever to Carlyle, the third 
oracle of the time. Nor does he avowedly submit to William 
Wordsworth, or quote his poems, at this stage of his life. 
Yet there is found a Words worthian sympathy with nature, 
and occasionally an experience that suggests certain pas- 
sages in the Prelude. On the i8th August, 1865, he records 
that he has slept at an hotel high up on the Wengern Alp. 

" It was a beautiful evening, and I enjoyed one of those 
quarters of an hour which one values for their rarity, such as 
once I had in Buckland Cover and once riding home from 
hunting ; times when you do not feel so much to belong to 
yourself as to the things about you." 

In regard to this, Professor J. A. Stewart writes : — 

" John Wordsworth's experience is, indeed, Words- 
worthian. It is an experience which, so far as I can gather. 


is more common in youth than later ; and youth is the time 
when a poet must begin his career if he is to begin it at all. I 
think that J. Wordsworth probably had both the poetic and 
the prosaic sides of the family inheritance, but, of course, 
all would depend on the way in which the two sides helped 
and hindered each other. In his great uncle the prosaic 
side actually helped the poetic sometimes. In J. Wordsworth 
it seems to have at last suppressed it." ^ 

He had, in fact, the making of a moralist, but not of 
a philosopher in the Oxford sense. It may have been 
misgiving about metaphysics that had excited his desire 
for Cambridge. Though he read diligently, philosophy 
was a toil, and throughout his life he doubted the value 
of such reasoning. I remember his criticism, not of the 
substance but of the method, of the present Bishop 
of Oxford's book on the Eucharist. ^ Metaphysical con- 
siderations, or what Wordsworth regarded as such, were 
introduced in the theological discussion. This was 
unwise. It would alienate " sensible " people, the very 
class most worth conciliating. Sensible people instinc- 
tively suspect a case so presented. They feel that this 
is a last resource ; the reasoner, by adducing such argu- 
ments, confesses his lack of solid grounds. And when 
Wordsworth himself had to lecture on the doctrine of 
grace, he lamented the uninteresting character of the 
subject and the difficulty of finding enough to say. After 
a few obvious remarks, he says, he could think of nothing 
more that was worth utterance. The subtlety of thought 
lavished on that immemorial controversy repelled him, 

1 Professor Stewart continues : "I have an idea that the poetic 
side came to the Wordsworth family through the Cooksons. A little 
girl who was a Cookson wrote poetry which her cousin W. Wordsworth 
thought highly of. It has been published, and is certainly very remark- 
able. W. Wordsworth's mother was a Cookson." [Mary Ann Cookson, 
Poems on Various Subjects, 1829. There were three editions in that 
year, but the book has not been reprinted.] 

^ Charles Gore, The Body of Christ, 1901. 


or at least failed to stimulate his attention. Perhaps, 
if Oxford ethics rose above the foundations of that science, 
and if psychological observation were encouraged, a course 
attractive to such a mind might be devised : but Oxford 
is a stepmother to psychology. Wordsworth, at any rate, 
was uninterested in the philosophy set before him. The 
epithets which in his maturity he would use to express 
his satisfaction with an argument were " sensible " and 
" fair " ; not the terms that would be chosen by one who 
wished to push reasonings to a conclusion. When he 
was describing the character of his uncle, Charles Words- 
worth, in the Dictionary of National Biography, he 
wrote, " His religious faith was serene and rational, while 
he had little sympathy for the philosophical and mysterious 
elements of religion " ; and the description was designed 
as praise. But he did not spare himself in this uncon- 
genial study. Only in one term does he confess to " not 
much reading," and it was the term in which he read 
privately with Walter Pater, his future colleague at Brase- 
nose. Pater, he says, was profitable for essay writing : — 

" he wants me to study the writing of Prose. He puts it as 
composition above Poetry, confessing that he had himself 
failed to succeed in the latter. His prose style is certainly 
very good and finished." 

Probably Pater's was not the tuition best suited to 
the case ; there is no indication that any other teacher 
in the second part of his course awakened special interest 
in Wordsworth. It is not surprising that he was placed 
in the second class in 1865 ; and he felt more his father's 
disappointment than his own. Writing in 1870 to his 
brother, who had just taken an aegrotat degree at Cam- 
bridge in classics, he prophesies that this misfortune 
will not hinder his prospects of a fellowship.^ 

1 Mr. Christopher Wordsworth, scholar of Trinity, was elected to 
a fellowship at Peterhouse in 1870. 


" It is a severe trial, but one which you will know how to 
bear ... at any rate, it will not be worse than getting a 
second class, which I have scarcely found to be any obstacle 
to myself, and which I have always subjectively thought rather 
a good thing than otherwise." 

His future career was as yet undecided. His Oxford 
friends seem to have assumed that he would take Holy 
Orders, and he was too reserved to discuss his plans with 
them. It was his father's hope that he would be ordained, 
and he had no mental difficulties, while he was keenly 
interested in many sides of clerical life and in subjects 
germane to the calling. He had busied himself at New 
College with sacred studies that were of no service for 
the schools, as when he devoted much labour to a careful, 
old-world scheme of Biblical chronology, on the lines of 
Jerome and Usher, which he carried more than halfway 
through the Old Testament. ^ But he was not clear as 
to the line of duty, and he had a horror, says a sister, of 
becoming a clergyman " because it was the way of the 
family," But his scruples were his own. Those who 
knew him best are sure that he was already too resolute 
to be deterred by the noisy anticlericalism then prevalent 
in Oxford, which proclaimed, as Creighton has told us, 
that the man of ability who took Orders was either a knave 
or a fool. 

For Wordsworth the difficulty of deciding was increased 
by the wish that he had formed, and confided to his 
diary, before his twenty-first birthday, to marry the 
lady who after six years became his wife. He had to 
keep the desire to himself for several years, and had 
frequent anxieties, but he did not allow this interest to 
distract him from his work. It necessarily affected his 

^ It was vitiated by ignorance of mathematical conditions. He 
tried to work the problem out from the text of Scripture, accepted as 
it stood. 


plans. He was born to be a scholar, and the path to a 
life of learning lay through a fellowship. A fellowship, 
however, in those days was of brief tenure unless the holder 
took Orders, and it was vacated by marriage. College 
teaching as a life career was hardly imagined ; men 
taught, more or less patiently, to fill the years till their 
living reached them. The prospect was not attractive 
to Wordsworth, who had to depend on his earnings, and 
as yet had not felt himself justified in mentioning his 
wish to the parents of Miss Coxe. Other plans of life 
were equally disheartening. He thought of the bar ; 
he was offered his articles as a solicitor, with the prospect 
of a partnership, by his uncle, who was head of the firm 
of Messrs. Foster and Frere. But though he had a legal 
mind, as his studies and successes as a Bishop were to 
show, either branch of the profession exacted years of 
patience. He also thought of becoming an architect, 
a calling for which his tastes fitted him. But for the 
present he took a course which was more usually adopted 
then than now, at least for a time, by young men of 
ability ; he became a schoolmaster. 

His first adventure was at Harrow, where he spent 
six months, from January to the end of July, in 1866. 
He went as assistant in his form and house to Edwyn 
Vaughan, a brother of the famous Master of the Temple. 
He confesses that " he does not think he was much good 
to him " ; and the judgment of a contemporary at Harrow 
is that his pupils could do what they liked with Words- 
worth, whose talents lay in other directions than the 
teaching of boys. His shortness of sight and his deliberate, 
or even slow, procedure must have given the boys an 
advantage. Still, he speaks of " getting into the swing 
of his work " ; he played football and made — 

" some warm friends among the boys of the house ; C. B. 
Heberden (now Principal of B.N.C.), R. G. Tatton, whom I 


made a Coningtonian afterwards, Reginald Digby, Sydney 
Pelham, son of the Bishop of Norwich." 

He had gone to Harrow under the stipulation that he 
was to be free to continue his studies and to compete 
for fellowships. In the latter pursuit he was as yet 
unsuccessful ; but under the date Tuesday, 27th May, 
1866, he makes the entry^ — 

" ' Digna dies nullast candidiore nota.' 
" For to-day New College has obtained the three Chan- 
cellor's Prizes. 

" G. Cremer : Latin Verse. ' Virgil reciting his poem to 

Augustus and Octavia.' 
"A. 0. Prickard : English Essay. 'Autobiography.' 
" John Wordsworth : Latin Essay. ' Comparison of 

Thucydides and Tacitus.' " 

The last, entitled " Erasmus, sive Thucydidis cum 
Tacito Comparatio," was recited at the Encaenia on 
the 13th June, 1866, and is introduced by the author 
as foUows : — 

" The dialogue is supposed to be written by Sir Thomas 
More in 1535, the last year of his Life, and dedicated to his 
daughter, Margaret Roper. The scene is laid in the garden of 
Lambeth Palace in the year 15 13, in which Sir Thomas More 
finished his history of Richard XXL as far as it remains to us. 
The persons presented are William of Warham, Archbishop of 
Canterbury, who died in the year 1532 ; Colet, founder of 
St. Paul's School, who died in 1519 ; and Erasmus, then on 
one of his frequent visits to England, who died, about a year 
after the execution of Sir Thomas More, in 1536." 

Wordsworth's own opinion, before the decision, was that — ■ 

" according to the judgment of partial though discerning 
friends it is written in good Latin, but wants severity of 
treatment, and does not sufficiently get the two historians 
side by side. I think this is true ; and it rather vexes me, 


as I feel that I know a good deal more of them than I have 
put into the essay." 

It is a good piece of work in its kind, readable and thought- 
ful and well worthy of the recognition it obtained. 

But the chief importance for Wordsworth's life of his 
residence at Harrow was in two friendships that he formed 
there. His relation to the Vaughans became very close. 
Vaughan was preparing in middle life to take Holy Orders ; 
he was labouring under a prolonged and depressing illness, 
which ended fatally in 1868 at Bath, where he was serving 
as assistant curate at Walcot Church. For the first time 
Wordsworth was brought into close contact with suffering, 
and had the opportunity of exercising his great powers of 
sympathy. Numerous letters of even passionate gratitude 
show how he helped Vaughan and his wife to bear the 
burden, and his friendship to her and her child continued 
long into her widowhood. The episode is perhaps chiefly 
remarkable in showing an early maturity. Not many 
men could have taken the lead in such a case in their 
twenty-third year. But it is also an anticipation of a 
very effectual part of his pastoral activity in later life. 
It was at Harrow also that he formed the friendship 
of Westcott, then a house master in the school, through 
whom he became engaged in his first important literary 
work, his series of articles in the Dictionaries of Christian 
Antiquities and Christian Biography. For some years 
he was to find his chief alliance in the Cambridge group 
of which Westcott was one of the heads. Yet though 
he grew intimate with the Westcott family, the philosophy 
of that divine was less to his mind than the scholarship. 
He could enter heartily into the patristic interests of 
Lightfoot, with whom a lifelong friendship began through 
Westcott, and he was soon to share the churchly aims 
of Benson ; but he was cool towards Westcott's exegesis 
and his social schemes. 



On the 23rd May, 1866, John Wordsworth received 
from the Master of Wellington a letter which was to have 
important results for both, and for the English Church. 
Dr. Benson's opportunities as yet were those of a teacher 
in a public school. He had not begun that study of St. 
Cyprian which was to mould his ecclesiastical thought, 
and his friendships were with schoolmasters or with 
academic students. When, on Conington's recommenda- 
tion, he offered Wordsworth a place on the staff of Wel- 
lington College, he was opening to himself a new world 
of interests. Through the son he made the acquaintance, 
which quickly ripened into a filial affection, of Christopher 
Wordsworth, and so was led to Lincoln, and thence to 
Truro and to Lambeth. All this began in Benson's letter, 
written to one who was as yet a stranger : — 

" The duties would be to teach the Lower Sixth Form, 
and to take part of the Composition of the Upper Sixth, as 
well as to take the whole Sixth during such examinations 
(this would not imply extra hours) of the whole school as the 
head master has to conduct. While the work is more im- 
mediately connected with my own, the position as regards 
the boys and the rest of the staff is as independent in all 
respects as any other mastership. I mention this because it 
is not, I believe, always the case. The work is agreeable, and 
not excessive in amount. The boys, I am sure I may say, are 
thoroughly pleasant to deal with, and would work heartily 
for any energetic master, who would be firm with them, and 
in earnest about his own work. In their position in the school 
boys are never averse to taking life easily, while yet they 
thoroughly approve of being made to work." 

Wordsworth accepted the post, to which a liberal 
stipend was attached, on the terms that he was still to 
be at liberty to compete for fellowships. He was not dis- 
heartened by his experience at Harrow, nor considered 
himself unsuited for the work of a schoolmaster. Indeed, 


among the schemes he was soon to consider for hastening 
his marriage, none was more often to be discussed than 
the appHcation for a head mastership. He began work 
at Welhngton in September, and received from Edwyn 
Vaughan (who was now at Bath) — 

" a line of friendship and sympathy in your commence- 
ment in a new place of a work (I fear) not wholly congenial. 
Perhaps none the worse for you on that account. You will 
perhaps be feeling a little depressed amongst so many strangers. 
I hope there are many who will appreciate your work with 
them and for them as they ought to do, and I am sure any 
who are really desirous to improve will find you very ef&cient 
to help them, and very kind and encouraging also. I am 
sure there were some in the house at Harrow who could bear 
testimony to your help and patience with them, and it will 
be long, I hope, before I forget all your considerate kindness 
to myself at times of great depression, when a kind friend at 
hand was worth a great deal." 

Wellington, when Wordsworth began work there on 
his twenty-third birthday, was not at its best. Mr. E. K. 
Purnell writes : — 

" The pecuUar vigour, or rather rigour, of the head master's 
methods did not render easy his work, which was practically 
that of understudy to the future Archbishop. With Words- 
worth's predecessor — a very brilliant scholar of the type of 
C. S. Calverley, but hopeless as a disciplinarian — the two 
divisions of the Sixth had been taking a rest-cure, and the 
new ' Sixth Tutor's' placid disposition and gentle ways 
scarcely provided a sufficiently bracing tonic. The head 
master himself at this time was finding ' the Sixth a dead 
weight which it was impossible to struggle against ' {Life, by 
A. C. Benson, i. 207)." 

But Wordsworth was pleased both with the place 
and the boys. He writes in 1891 : — 

" I enjoyed footbaU and hare and hounds, and no doubt 
the sandy soil and heathy and firry surroundings of Welhngton 


College were very helpful to me. It was the only time in 
my life that I have lived in such country, and I have always 
had an affection, nay, a craving, for it since. E. W. B. was 
of course most stimulating, and there were other masters who 
were well worth knowing." 

Of the boys he says at the time — 

" they are most dear creatures ; such gentlemen, but all but 
four or five capable of using the accusative for the nominative 
in an exercise. With one of them, by name Verrall, I have 
formed a friendship. He is wonderful in the variety of his 
interests and would please Conington much." 

The future Professor Verrall was, in fact, the one really 
great scholar reared by Wellington in Benson's time.^ 
He was somewhat delicate, and was favoured, very 
wisely, both by Benson and by Wordsworth, who speaks 
of him as — 

" a very clever boy with a lower lip Hke Dante's, untidy, and 
to many people a bore, but I do not find him so . . . sits 
generally in my room, and promises really great things, 
performing even wonders for a boy." 

At this time Verrall was sixteen. Wordsworth preserved 
many of his exercises, and corresponded regularly with 
him for several years. Nor did Verrall cease to be 
grateful. When the Times, in its obituary notice of 
the Bishop, said that " it may be doubted whether John 
Wordsworth was quite the sort of teacher to inspire 
boys," he wrote ^ that in a sense this might be true, but 

" he did for me during his tenure of the mastership and even 
afterwards all that man could, opening the field of scholarship 
by free and fascinating talks, directing me to books and giving 
me the run of his own, and in short by every means applicable 

^ See his contribution to Benson's Life, i. 115 ff. 
^ Times, 17th August, 191 1. 


to the case. When he went to Brasenose he invited me there, 
and gave me, though a mere boy, opportunities and intro- 
ductions invaluable. I had no personal claim on him what- 
ever, and have no doubt that he did for others likewise 
according to their needs." 

But there were others beside Verrall in Wordsworth's 
class who were worthy of instruction. Eight or ten 
among them won scholarships at Oxford or Cambridge, 
and friendly memories remained on both sides. 

He had meanwhile competed for four fellowships, 
leaving Harrow or Wellington for the purpose. In each 
case he had been unsuccessful. Twice it had turned 
out that philosophical subjects were those on which 
stress was laid ; on the other occasions the fellowships 
were awarded to W. Sanday of Corpus and E. L. Hicks 
of Brasenose, and it was no reproach to have been defeated 
by the present Margaret Professor and Bishop of Lincoln. 
Wordsworth had made up his mind, with his father's 
approbation, that he would not try again, but accept 
the career of a schoolmaster as that of his life. He 
recognised its drawbacks in a narrowing of interests and 
in the necessity, at least in his own case, of devoting the 
whole attention to the duties of the office. At a moment 
of despondency he speaks of " the frozen monotony of 
a tyrannical life which some schoolmasters lead." On 
the other hand, he was " dreaming dreams " about 
matrimony, and as a master he had better hopes of 
speedy marriage than he would have with a fellowship ; 
and Benson was thanking him for his services, saying 
that it was long since he had had so little trouble with 
his Sixth. 

But such dreams were to come to nothing. At a 
late hour on Saturday, 26th January, 1867, Wickham 
learned that Brasenose College was looking for an exact 
scholar, like Wordsworth, in a fellowship examination 


which was to begin on the following Monday. The 
post would not serve, but a friend volunteered to convey 
the message to Wellington College. It reached Words- 
worth just before morning chapel. He hired a dogcart 
for Reading, told the Master as he emerged from chapel, 
who raised no obstacle, and reached Stanford in time 
to read the afternoon lessons for his father. Dr. Words- 
worth approved the venture, and on Monday morning 
his son went in for the examination. The papers lasted 
four days, and were devoted almost entirely to classical 
subjects. On the Friday, after a viva voce examination, 
Wordsworth was elected to a Founder's fellowship, took 
the necessary oaths in chapel, dined in hall, and had his 
health drunk in common room. 

What he had learned from Benson he described in 
the memorial sermon he preached after the Archbishop's 
death in Salisbury Cathedral, on the i8th October, 1896. 

" I was a master under him only for two terms ; but my 
relation to him, as composition master, was a very close one, 
and those terms made a great change in my life, and were not 
without their effect on his. I cannot describe the kindling 
and exhilarating feeling which his friendship gave me, fresh, 
though not indeed quite fresh, from the somewhat cold and 
sceptical atmosphere of Oxford as it then was. Our home 
interests were always deeply involved with the fortunes of 
the Church. My father, I may almost say, hved for nothing 
else. But his mind inclined rather to the sadder and more 
solemn aspects of the present, and still more of the future. 
To know intimately one who shared to the full our traditional 
love for and loyalty to the Church of England, and yet was 
inspired with buoyant hope and fired with visions for her 
future still greater than her past, was a help to me then, and 
when I returned to Oxford for eighteen years of tutorial work, 
and again since, such as nothing else perhaps could have 



John Wordsworth had headed his diary for 1867 with 
the words, " Conabor, Te adjuvante," But in spite of 
his fellowship his plans were unsettled. Just before his 
election he had written : — 

" Absence from Oxford for a year and the prospects of 
independence and honourable work have naturally modified 
my desire, never very intense, for a fellowship : still I cannot 
help wishing to succeed this time, when I suppose I have a 
better chance than on any former occasion. It will give me 
time to travel and to attend divinity lectures ; to lay some 
foundation for a Uterary work perhaps. My present idea is 
a church history. This might modestly air itself at first in 
an etude on some person or period. But this is all at present 

After his election : — 

"It is still doubtful whether I must reside at Easter or 
in October ; when I do it will be for some time. I don't feel 
thoroughly happy at it : ' medio de fonte leporum surgit 
amari aliquid.' Not at having to give up New CoUege,^ nor 
entirely because I have to leave this place [Wellington], but 
avT^ fwotSe Twv iriKpuiv t] KupSia.^ Still, to have given my father 
and some others pleasure is a great thing." 

The fellowship, which would cease with marriage, 
and which as yet was not augmented by a lectureship 

^ Where he had twice failed of election. 

2 This must be Wordsworth's own rendering of Prov. xiv. lo, " The 
heart knoweth his own bitterness." 


or tutorship, threw back his prospect of matrimony, 
though it was a comfortable provision for a bachelor. 
Official fellowships were as yet unknown, but under the 
Ordinances of 1863 the Principal and Fellows of Brasenose 
had large powers of enforcing residence, and Wordsworth 
had clearly been elected with a view to his taking a share 
in college work. He was not to have the respite of which 
he had dreamed. 

He was summoned into residence for the summer 
term of 1867 with an easy lectureship in classics and a 
small remuneration. At the end of the term he won his 
last junior distinction, being elected with E. L. Hicks 
of Corpus to the Craven scholarship. He was still 
unsettled in mind, and for a moment formed the plan 
of claiming a College living. Gillingham, in Kent, a 
suburb of Chatham with some 7000 inhabitants, was 
vacant in June, and he thought of having it kept for 
him till he was qualified by Orders to take it. The tempta- 
tion was strong, for as yet he had no hope of settling with 
a wife in Oxford. But it was promptly and wisely dis- 
missed ; it certainly would not have had his father's 

The Long Vacation was chiefly passed in Germany. 
A visit to Berlin with his sister Elizabeth as his companion 
was spent in hard work in the University Library upon 
the Roman Emperors for the Dictionary of Christian 
Biography, and in intercourse with the Professors. 
Mommsen unfortunately was absent, but several interest- 
ing acquaintances were made. Dorner, the historian 
of Christian doctrine, was — 

" a very fine character, slightly dreamy perhaps, but full of 
good sense and also of humour. He belongs to the Ober- 
kirchenrath, and is all for the United Church, agamst Hengsten- 
berg and the ultra-Lutherans. I made him a present of my 
father's edition of Job, which he seemed much pleased to have." 


With Dorner Wordsworth several times attended the 
worship of the Moravians. There were also Hiibner, 
engaged on the Corpus of Latin Inscriptions and in parti- 
cular upon its British volume, to whom Wordsworth was 
able to render services in England, Kiepert the geographer, 
Weber the Sanskrit scholar, Hengstenberg, Lepsius, and 
Ranke, who " was very civil and talked about Oxford. 
He was odd, however, and seemed to have had a Troll 
among his ancestors." At Berlin he also came to know 
two young French students who were working in the 
Library, Gabriel Monod, the future historian of early 
France, and Samuel Berger, who was to be the author of 
the Histoire de la Vulgate, and a lifelong friend. From 
Berlin Wordsworth and his sister travelled for four weeks 
of laborious sight-seeing in South Germany and the 
adjacent parts of Austria. Though they had worked 
conscientiously, he notes with penitence that they might 
have seen more in the time. On his return to England 
he settled for the last month of the vacation at his father's 
house in the Westminster cloisters to continue his work 
on the Emperors, and especially on their coins in the 
British Museum. 

The Michaelmas term found him in better spirits. 
" On the whole I have every reason to be satisfied with 
my position," he writes in his diary. A new interest 
was a brown cob which he bought for £35, the first luxury 
of his independence and the earliest of a succession of 
riding horses which he kept for more than twenty years. 
Though he gave up hunting, they were not wanting in 
spirit, for Wordsworth rejected the cautious advice of 

'•' One day," said the future Dean of Chichester, " I put 
my hand on his arm and said, ' John, do you remember how 
Bishop Bull used to say : When I choose a horse for myself 


I always try my best to choose one that is as much of an ass 
as possible ? ' " i 

The College did not engross his time, though he had a 
promising class for Honour Moderations. One Saturday 
he led a Brasenose football team to Wellington, and they 
enjoyed the game. He spent the Sunday with the Bensons. 
On the following Sunday he was in Cambridge, improving 
his acquaintance with Lightfoot, whom he already knew 
through Westcott. Lightfoot is " a shortish man, not 
handsome, partly bald. He has something of the activity 
and humility of Westcott, with rather less momentary 
enthusiasm and readiness, but perhaps more exactitude. 
I hope I may see more of him." This was the beginning 
of a very hearty and helpful friendship. Wordsworth, 
in fact, through Benson, Westcott, and Lightfoot, came 
to be for some years quite as much at home in Cam- 
bridge modes of thought and work as in those of Oxford. 
But one great Cambridge figure did not attract him. 
On Sunday, 17th November, F. D. Maurice was preach- 
ing before the University on Christian Unity. The 
sermon — 

" began by being fluffy, but got more decided before the close. 
I found that others had the same difficulty in attending to it 
as I had, though my thoughts were more distracted than 
usual by my talk about books with Lightfoot." 

It is just to say that his esteem for Maurice increased in 
later years. 

Meanwhile Wordsworth was preparing for his ordina- 
tion. Among the motives that had drawn him for a time 
towards other callings neither speculative doubt, which 
was quite alien to his modes of thought, nor indifference 
to religion had held a place. He had passed, so far as 

^ From Canon R. G. Livingstone, through Archdeacon Bodington. 


can be seen, through no crisis of feeling at any point in 
his life. From childhood he had believed, simply and 
seriously, as he had been taught, and had consistently 
aimed at carrying out the doctrine in practice. When, 
as Fellow of Brasenose, he had in the course of duty to 
enter into Holy Orders, he could do so without any reserve, 
as the natural development, and even completion, of his 
career. How natural it was appears from the continuance 
of his ordinary pursuits and studies, duly noted in nis 
diary, during the preceding term. The verse that he wrote, 
and it is abundant, bears no relation to his impending 
ordination. On Sunday, 22nd December, 1867, he was 
ordained deacon in Christ Church Cathedral by Bishop 
Wilberforce. Wordsworth has left an account of the 
ceremony and of its antecedents, which shows how far 
short Wilberforce's reforms fell of modern practice. On 
the Thursday before the ordination the candidates 
{20 for priests', 23 for deacons' Orders) assembled at 
ID a.m. at Cuddesdon Palace. After chapel there were 
four papers. After dinner came chapel again, with an 
extempore address by the Bishop. The procedure was 
the same on the Friday, with a viva voce examination 
by Archdeacon Pott and a short interview with the Bishop 
thrown in. The evening addresses were excellent. On 
the Saturday morning — for two nights the candidates had 
slept at Cuddesdon — there was chapel with Holy Com- 
munion and an address, followed by breakfast at 11. 
Then another paper, which was not looked over, dinner 
about 5.30, declarations, signatures, payment of fees, 
and chapel. The candidates left Cuddesdon for Oxford 
about 9 p.m. "If the weather had been better and 
punctuality more kept, everything would have been 
pleasant ; as it was, it left us very tired, but in my 
case thankful for the three days." On the Sunday the 
Ordination Service began at 10, Liddon preached for 


an hour, from 10.45 to 11.45, o^^ "the text, St. John 
XV. 16 — 

" giving a passage to College Fellows, for which I was grateful. 
The service ended about 2.30, and after about twenty minutes 
more we got our letters of Orders at the Archdeacon's, and I 
went up to meet my people at luncheon." ^ 

He officiated for the first time on the Christmas Day 
in his father's church at Stanford in the Vale, and there 
on the following Sunday, 29th December, he preached 
his first sermon on St. Luke x. 23, 24, comparing the 
heathen and the Jewish hopes with the Christian. He 
was ordained priest at St. Luke's, Maidenhead, on Sunday, 
2ist February, 1869, but has left no account of the day. 

On the Tuesday following his ordination as deacon 
he accepted from the Principal of Brasenose the office of 
tutor in the College, vacant through the unexpected 
resignation of Mr. Albert Watson, who remained in 
residence and succeeded to Wordsworth's lectureship. 

" I shall have Mods work, pass and class, and a Divinity 
lecture and compositions : about eleven hours' lectures, and 
compositions much as at present. With my fellowship it 
will bring me in an income more than I could have expected 
or deserved." 

To his classical work there was soon added that of 
tuition in Theology. The University in 1868 instituted 
an Honour School of Theology, the first examinations in 
which were held in 1870. Wordsworth was appointed 
by his College to instruct its members who might read 
for the School. He retained his work, both classical 
and theological, and also his tutorship till he became 
Oriel Professor in 1883. 

In his lecturing Wordsworth was deliberate and 

^ His mother, three sisters, and brother were present. 


detailed. Dr. Way,^ one of his most distinguished 
classical pupils, says that he " would lecture on a com- 
paratively small section in considerable detail rather than 
attempt to cover the whole ground. He was not a 
sophist." Evidence to the same effect might be adduced 
in abundance from pupils reading classics and theology 
with serious attention. But not all the undergraduates 
of Brasenose were devoted to the pursuit of knowledge 
for its own sake. There were those who wanted to learn 
as much as would be useful in the Schools, and to learn 
it in a form that might be reproduced in examination. 
These found his lectures unpractical. There were others, 
seeking Honours it is true, yet starting at too low a 
level of knowledge to profit by his instruction. And there 
were passmen who too often were merely perplexed by 
his erudition. It must be borne in mind that, forty 
years ago, the art of lecturing had not been carried to 
such a pitch of efficiency as has been reached to-day, and 
that in the election to fellowships weight of knowledge 
and capacity for promoting its advance were the sole 
consideration, while now practical usefulness in the 
business of teaching is taken into account. Under the 
old system, if grotesque failures, such as Wordsworth's 
case was not, were sometimes incurred, there was, at 
any rate, a better chance for exceptional scholarship to 
find a home in the University. But he had the draw- 
backs of his qualities, and the memory of his pupils often 
recurs to the less effectual side of his teaching. 

" I should not like to say," reports one, " that he was a 
great success as a tutor. The ordinary undergraduate did 
not understand him, and as a lecturer he was often much 
above the intellectual capacity of the average man. Men 
thought his lectures duU ; a friend of mine, in fact, complained 

1 J. P. Way, Scholar of B.N.C., B.A. 1874, late head master of 


that they were dull. The complaint somehow got round to 
John Wordsworth, who characteristically remarked, ' I thought 
they were about the level of the men who came to them.' 
There was often a dreaminess, or what seemed to us a dreami- 
ness, in his lecturing. On one occasion, after a somewhat 
obscure lecture, he walked to the window, and looking out into 
the quad said, ' Perhaps you will write me an essay on the 
Ark as a type ' ; then came a pause, during which we waited 
somewhat curiously, and then he added, ' as a type of other 
things.' I have no recollection of any essays on the subject 
being produced. But the fact was he was far too great on 
intellect to be a help to the average and somewhat idle under- 
graduate. He could not reaUse that other people did not know 
as much as he did himself." 

Another, and a very competent pupil, the Archdeacon 
of Wilts, ^ writes : — 

" As a lecturer (I can only speak of his Greek Testament, 
his Cicero and Latin composition lectures) I can only use 
about him his own words about some one else, ' He knew too 
much about it to be a good lecturer.' ... No ! it was only 
his bye-products that were good for the Schools." 

He soon began to give advanced instruction outside 
the routine of classical teaching. He took a hereditary 
interest in inscriptions, and at his home there was a fine 
library of the standard works on the subject. He was 
himself a subscriber to the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum 
and its auxiliary the Ephemeris Epigraphica. His concern, 
unlike that of the older scholars of his famil}^, was with 
Latin rather than with Greek learning. He was gaining 
Conington's approval for his scheme, somewhat bold for 
a man of twenty-five, in the Long Vacation of 1868. It 
was to be a course on Latin literature. Conington 
thought that it would be of the usual type : — 

" I suppose you will be tolerably miscellaneous, here a 
fact, there an opinion. The great thing to aim at is to be 
1 E. J. Bodington, Scholar of B.N.C., B.A. 1885, Rector of Calne. 


tolerably interesting and salient, so that men shall not feel 
that they could get it all as well by looking in the Dictionary 
of Biography. I don't think £1 too much to ask, though I 
suppose any fee acts as a deterring force." 

But in Michaelmas term the lectures had come to 
deal with the very beginnings of Latinity. They were 
assisted by a printed abstract and lithographed facsimiles : 
" What wouldn't I have given," wrote Benson, " when 
I was an undergraduate for instruction of this kind, all 
thrown into shape ! " In the summer of 1869 he formed 
the plan of " a little book on Early Roman inscriptions, 
to popularise Mommsen and Ritschl," and for the next 
three years continued to lecture on Early Latin literature 
and the inscriptions. It is of one of these lectures that 
the incident has been recorded, ^ how " when one of his 
emendations in an Early Latin inscription worked out 
at last in the form dedrot (= dederunt), he neither under- 
stood nor heeded the general smile." But very possibly 
he did understand, and he had great control of his features. 
The present Warden of Keble, who attended these early 
lectures, says : — 

" I think that he impressed me, as an undergraduate, more 
than any other lecturer that I attended with his extraordinary 
learning. He had none of Max Miiller's power of making a 
philological subject interesting, or of Professor Scott's (after- 
wards Dean of Rochester) charm of exact exegesis. These 
are the two lecturers who attracted me most, but John Words- 
worth awed and impressed one with his combination of know- 
ledge with a kind of tentative humility which was feeling its 
way in and out of the very corners, and which was willing to 
listen to any suggestion from a pupil." 

The pecuniary gain of such work was small, and in 
1871 and 1872 his lectures on " Latin Inscriptions " 

1 By C. B. H. and F. M., Salisbury Diocesan Gazette, 191 1, p. 188. 


and " Inscriptions of the Republic, especially the frag- 
ments of Laws," were announced as " advanced combined 
lectures," and therefore without fee to the Colleges which 
shared lectures with Brasenose. 

Meanwhile the Delegates of the University Press had 
invited him to write a book on Comparative Philology. 
Max Miiller was at the height of his influence, and additions 
to knowledge were expected as confidently from that study 
as they are to-day from excavation. Wordsworth was 
master of the current knowledge, and had made a special 
study, as we have seen, of Early Latin. He consulted 
Benson, who sketched out a plan for the work, and was 
eager that it should be undertaken. But he was dis- 
appointed to find that Wordsworth had changed his 
purpose, and was contemplating a volume of Monu- 
ments, which was ultimately published as the well-known 
Fragments and Specimens of Early Latin. Benson would 
have had him publish on both subjects, and vigorously 
urged him to do do. Probably the younger scholar 
was right. His decision was not due to any doubt of 
the value of Comparative Philology. Strange as it must 
seem to an Oxford that is content to know little of the 
results of that science, and nothing of its methods, he 
proposed in a paper read before a club of younger tutors, 
on 23rd February, 1870, that philology should be intro- 
duced into the final School of Literae Humaniores as an 
alternative for either philosophy or ancient history. ^ 

Wordsworth's activity was not lessened by his engage- 
ment to Miss Coxe in May, 1869, a topic which belongs 
to the next chapter, but its course was changed by the 

^ More practical suggestions in the same paper were that the members 
of the club should study subjects in ancient history and philology not 
recognised in the Schools, and offer free instruction in them ; and that 
there should be founded " a museum of classical antiquities, historical 
rather than artistic, consisting of typical specimens, such as Ruskin 
proposes to found for art." This has now been accomplished. 


death of Conington, one of whose most favoured pupils 
he had become, on the 23rd October. To his memory he 
composed and printed the following elegiacs : — 


" Johannes Conington, Bostoniae natus anno 1825, 
Latinarum litterarum quindecim annos professor Oxoniensis, 
Bostoniae obiit ^ Octobris die 23°, 1869. 

" Tene, caput carum, supremum vidimus, eheu ? 

lingua silet ? cessat scribere prompta manus ? 
non iterum in dubiis tua limina adimus amici ; 

non iterum nostras veneris ante fores, 
non dulci alloquio cenam celebrabimus una, 

non matutini munera grata foci, 
non pariter tecum notos lustrabimus agros, 

vicinasque urbi despiciemus aquas. 

" Heu pietas animi pectusque immune malorum 
et pudor et virtus et sine labe fides, 
Mensque ad prima tenax mira et prudentia rerum, 
Sinceraque nitens simplicitate lepos, 

" Tam docilem Musae frustra lugetis alumnum, 
tu tamen (at frustra) solve Camena comas, 
unus cum latia nostram componere linguam, 
calluit ante alios unus utramque lyram. 

" Cum quinto steterat vix quadragesimus annus ; 

lux brevis : an tantis plenior ulla bonis ? 
lux brevis : at puro non improvisa nee alto 

flenda supervenit mors necopina viro. 
at partem nostri tecum tu detrahis ipse : 

noster eras ; sine te nos queror esse parum, 
quos igitur tali junxisti foedere amantes, 

nos non fiere decet sed bene velle magis, 
et colere atque alios simili pietate fovere 

quos et amaturus tu modo vivus eras. 

" B.N.C., Nov. 7, 1869." 

^ Obiit was altered to obdormivit in Christo in Wordsworth's hand 
in some copies. It will be seen that he still uses the traditional English 



Conington had been " a dear friend whose place I can 
never hope to see filled by another, and a most real loss 
to the University." Wordsworth went, with a large 
party from Oxford, to the funeral in Lincolnshire, but 
was unable to follow the professor to the grave. " As 
I had a bad cold, I had the privilege of reading the service 
to Mrs. Conington (the mother) and the other ladies." 
Young as Wordsworth was, the feeling among Conington's 
disciples was that he should be his successor. It is easy 
to conjecture the thoughts of their seniors when a tutor 
of twenty-six claimed one of the prizes of the University. 
His justification in the eyes of his friends was, in the first 
place, the extent of his knowledge, well known although 
as yet he had published nothing ; in the second place, 
that his knowledge was of a kind new to Oxford. It was 
a challenge to the old learning. The successful candidate, 
Edwin Palmer, Fellow of Balliol, was an expert in the 
traditional arts of composition and translation, and 
doubtless skilled to extract their full educational benefit 
for his pupils. He, rather than Wordsworth, represented 
Conington's line of teaching. There was a conflict of 
methods and interests rather than of persons, and it was 
felt that Wordsworth was guilty of no presumption in 
standing against a man much his senior, a chief tutor of 
the most distinguished College in Oxford.^ 

To support his candidature Wordsworth ventured into 
print. This was by the advice of W. C. Sidgwick, of Merton, 
given through Benson ; though Sidgwick warned Words- 
worth that the electors would vote " for the most ancient 
candidate." He therefore published his Lectures introduc- 
tory to a History of the Latin Language and Literature, the pre- 
face being dated 26th January, 1870. They were, he says — 

" part of a course which I have nearly completed, on the 

Literature of Rome in the pre-Augustan Age. Only one of 

^ So I am assured by Mr. A. O. Prickard and other contemporaries. 


these, however, has been actually delivered, namely, that on 
the Elementary Age ; and it has now been subjected to con- 
siderable revision. I have not had time to do the same for 
the rest. Should leisure and opportunity be allowed me, I 
shall hope to continue and enlarge the work that I have begun, 
of which I now offer this specimen to the University." 

The " Introduction " which follows the preface con- 
tains a trenchant criticism of " our traditional method 
of wide general reading without a definite object, and 
of giving much of our time to verse composition and to 
elegance of translation." 

" It is not enough," he says, " to point to the great public 
men who have felt their obligations to this system. It does 
not suffice to connect our peculiarly English qualities of a 
reserve of force and a power of rising under pressure with a 
training of this kind that is peculiarly English. It has been 
our practice, we may say in our defence, to read widely, 
especially the best models ; to endeavour by original com- 
position in the classical languages to throw ourselves into the 
spirit under which those models were produced ; ^ to attempt 
by translations of various kinds to acquire a mastery of 
language, and to train the ear and lips to an instinctive pre- 
ference for what is just. Our scholars have thus learned to 
combine freedom of style with accuracy ; and to carry into 
the business of the world the aristocratic spirit which they have 
imbibed from Greece and Rome. But the time has passed 
when this result could be accepted by itself. We must confess 
it, however highly we may prize the individuality fostered 
by the old tradition." 

The time has come for reform, and England must 
take its place in exploring the field of knowledge which 
has now been mapped out. Other nations are claiming 
their share, and we may be content to leave to them 

^ Conington's letters are full of lively denunciation of foreign mis- 
apprehension of the classics, due to the unfamiliarity of editors with 
the actual task of classical composition. 


comparative grammar and the philosophy of art and 
" generally things abstruse and minute and alien from 
our conceptions of social life." But there are studies 
for which we have a natural aptitude. 

" In the domain of practical archaeology ; in all that 
relates to religion, and especially to Christianity ; in appre- 
ciating the morality of ancient teachers, and generally in the 
details of biography and national history, we may, it is believed, 
be found to have special capabihties for success. There is 
some truth, probably, in Niebuhr's dictum that the Enghsh 
have more natural historical sense than other people." 

Teaching, then, is to be combined with serious research, 
and — 

' ' it will evidently be the duty of every one of us who take 
up teaching as a profession to direct his labour to this end, 
and to endeavour to serve at once his country and the whole 
cause of education in Europe. Even so simple a matter as the 
teaching of the history of Latin hterature may have its influence 
to help or hinder the cause ; even the labour of a single man 
may be of some use if conceived aright, however it may fail 
in execution." 

This manifesto, contradicting Jowett's theory of 
education and accepting the new notion of a University 
career as one for life, introduced three lectures. The 
first, on " The Place of Rome in Aryan Civilisation/' con- 
tained all the theses which the scholars of that day 
asserted with as much vigour as our present ethnologists 
devote to their denial. The second was on " The Latin 
Race in Italy," and dealt in a summary way with the 
evidence from inscriptions and philology as to the relations 
of the various Italian peoples. The third, on " The Elemen- 
tary Age of Latin Literature," was devoted to the laws, 
the annals, the Saturnian metre, and so forth. The 
lectures were followed by appendices on the evidence 


from language for the kinship between Celts and Italians, 
and on the Italian alphabets. They were published, as 
we have seen, in haste, for an immediate purpose, and 
were meant as specimens of the author's workmanship and 
examples of the way in which such topics should be treated. 
They had not, and were not meant to have, a general 
circulation, and must not be taken as evidence of Words- 
worth's full powers. But probably few in England could 
have shown such various knowledge in so interesting 
a form, or have indicated with such foresight the lines 
of coming advance in education and research. No one 
can be surprised that Palmer was elected.^ When the 
post was next vacant, in 1878, by the resignation of Mr. 
Palmer on his appointment to be Archdeacon of Oxford, 
Wordsworth was not a candidate. In the interval he 
had published the Fragments and Specimens of Early 
Latin, and had in other ways established his reputation 
as a Latin scholar. But he had definitely turned aside 
from the study of that language and literature to theo- 
logical pursuits ; or rather he was applying his classical 
knowledge to problems of BibHcal and Ecclesiastical 

Since Wordsworth's career as a classical scholar ends 
in 1874 with the Fragments and Specimens, it will be 
convenient here to speak of that book, to which many 
students, now in middle life, look back with gratitude. 
It has, indeed, never been superseded. No selection of 
Fragments and Specimens so comprehensive and well- 
chosen has been attempted in England since 1874, and 
if the philology and the history of grammar must some- 
times be corrected in the light of later knowledge, the 
commentary upon the texts, like the texts themselves, 

^ In the Dictionary of National Biography, Supplement II., it is 
stated that the professorship was offered to, and declined by, F. W. 
Walker, Fellow of Corpus, the future High Master of St. Paul's School, 


is of permanent value. Mr. S. G. Owen ^ has kindly 
contributed the following appreciation of Wordsworth's 
classical work : — 

" John Wordsworth was of the generation now passing 
away one of the few distinguished classical scholars. Though 
he had not the briUiancy of his able father, he possessed, on 
the other hand, profound learning and sobriety of judgment. 
His taste was for the Latin language and literature : the title 
of his early work, Lectures introductory to a History of the Latin 
Language and Literature (Oxford, 1870), exactly describes the 
sphere to which his labours were directed not only in that 
book but later. These lectures, which deal with the earhest 
literature, and are of an extremely philological character, 
feU rather flat. But they served to prepare him, and to turn 
his thoughts into a channel in which he afterwards achieved 
success. The earher volumes of the great Corpus Inscrip- 
tionum Latinarum had recently appeared, making possible 
the systematic treatment of Early Latin on the basis of the 
inscriptions. Also the study of Comparative Philology, then 
a new and enchanting subject, was enthusiastically prosecuted 
in Oxford, where it flourished through the inspiration of that 
brilliant genius and attractive personaUty, Max MuUer. 
Wordsworth's knowledge of Early Latin was profound, and 
he possessed a no less fundamental knowledge of Comparative 
Philology. He was well acquainted with the works of 
Schleicher, Corssen, and Ritschl, and of other continental 
philologists ; and with the historical researches of Mommsen. 
After years of patient toil he published in 1874 his important 
work. Fragments and Specimens of Early Latin, which was 
intended ' to render the study of Early Latin more methodical 
and comprehensive.' In an interesting preface he reviews 
the numerous materials which he used. This book is still the 
best introduction in Enghsh to the study of Early Latin. It 
contains a wide selection from the materials ; it is admirably 
clear in its arrangement ; it is accompanied by a full and 
learned commentary ; and it is prefaced by a lucid gram- 
matical introduction, in which the Latin pronunciation and 

1 Student of Christ Church. 


the philology of the Latin forms are discussed at length. This 
introduction was in its time a considerable performance. 
It was thoroughly up to date, and was most helpful to the 
many undergraduates who then in numbers (now unfortunately 
attenuated) took up Comparative Philology as a special 
subject in the School of Honour Moderations. In those 
days there were giants. There were Max Miiller and Sayce ; 
and we got our general knowledge from the admirable CoUege 
lectures of Mr. H. F. Tozer, of Exeter, whom as a lecturer 
it would be difficult to match. Further, we found in Words- 
worth's book a scholarly and trustworthy treatise, which 
contrasted favourably with some other handbooks in vogue. 
" Wordsworth's Introduction has been superseded by other 
and, alas ! more complicated works, the most valuable of 
which is Lindsay's important and imposing volume on The 
Latin Language. But it must not be forgotten that Words- 
worth's book is marked by a lucidity and conciseness (combined 
with great accuracy) that is less apparent in modern treatises. 
I would especially appeal to his discussion of the Latin accent, 
which is made completely intelligible by Wordsworth's precise 
exposition. The text of the book itself consists of selections 
from the early inscriptions, fuU enough for their time, but which 
require to be supplemented by later discoveries ; Fragments 
of Early Laws, among which the complete extant fragments 
of the Twelve Tables are printed and elucidated by an excellent 
commentary, which is stiU of great value ; and lastly, the 
chief Fragments of the early poets and prose writers. The 
commentary on these last is particularly interesting, as it 
goes beyond mere notes and comprises what is practically 
a succinct history of Early Latin Hterature. Of the English 
works on Latin belonging to this period few can be compared 
with Wordsworth's for accuracy and thoroughness. It is 
the production of an exact and sympathetic scholar, who, if 
he had devoted his life to scholarship, would have done work 
of the highest order. He was tempted to choose another line,^ 
the difficult office of a bishop, in which it was harder to attain 
to the pre-eminence which in Latin was already assured to 

1 Mr. Owen has forgotten the edition of the Vulgate, which was 
a classical and philological work in the strictest sense. 


him, and where the quiet hfe of research that he loved was 
practically impossible. In his choice he gave evidence of 
the modesty of his character and his devotion to duty. His 
Fragments and Specimens have been widely read and still 
are read ; in them his work as a scholar hves after him." 

Mr. T. C. Snow, writes from a more technical point 
of view : — 

" Wordsworth's work in ' profane learning/ as our fathers 
used to call it, was only a beginning, early broken off by the 
more absorbing interest of theology. It is contained in 
the very small volume of Introductory Lectures (1870) and in 
the larger Fragments and Specimens of Early Latin (1874) . The 
lectures give no details of grammar, but a rapid summary, 
first of Early ItaHan ethnology and anthropology, then of 
Early Latin literature. To the ethnology and anthropology 
he was never able to return, except so far as they are treated 
incidentally in the notes to the Fragments and Specimens, 
and, on the religious side, in his Bampton Lectures. These 
incidental excursions are enough to show his wonderful power 
of running through vast masses of literature and picking the 
essential out of them, which is one of the first necessaries of 
the anthropologist. Whether he would have gone on to 
any creative work, is more than we can say from the evidence 
before us. 

" While he had thus to forsake anthropology, he repeated 
and expanded the literary history in the Fragments and Speci- 
mens. To the same work he prefixed a grammatical intro- 
duction, giving a sketch of the comparative philology of Latin 
phonetics and inflexions. He wrote at a rather unfortunate 
time, just before the first of the discoveries which made a 
greater change in our knowledge of Indo-European grammar 
than anything that happened since Bopp created it in 1818. 
The Fragments and Specimens was published in 1874 ; in 
1875 Verner put the coping-stone to Grimm's Law ; in 1876 
Leskien's announcement that ' phonetic laws are invariable ' 
laid down the ideal of scientific precision instead of the old 
genial latitudes of statement with their ' sometimes ' and 

1 Late Fellow of St. John's College, Oxford. 


' exceptionally ' ; in 1876, also, Brugmann's discoveries of 
the Indo-European epsilon and the vowel-nasal estabhshed 
the polychromatic nature of Indo-European phonetics, and 
incidentally dethroned Sanskrit from its pride of place in 
Indo-European grammar ; in 1879 De Saussure put the 
theory of gradation on a systematic basis which enabled his 
successors to transform it almost beyond recognition. But 
Wordsworth was cut out of all this by his date. His grammar 
is the grammar of Corssen and Schleicher, so far as the origin 
of forms and the progress of sounds is concerned. But it will 
always retain its own value, because it has Wordsworth's 
special quahty of careful and verified statement of facts. 
When he gives a form, he always tells you what grammarian 
quotes it, what inscription contains it, and what objections 
there may be to that particular quotation and that particular 

" There is no such drawback to the more substantive 
part of the Fragments and Specimens. Even now, there is 
no collection of material so useful for the study of Early Latin. 
Of course it is a selection ; it does not profess to reproduce 
the whole of the Corpus Inscriptionum, or of the extant frag- 
ments of tragedy or comedy or satire, down to the single 
words which do duty for so many of them. But the selection 
does contain everything of any importance in the way of 
language, or history, or law, or reHgion, or poetry, or rhetoric. 
And it happens that very Httle of such material has accrued 
since Wordsworth wrote. Latin has produced no finds of 
manuscripts hke Bacchyhdes or Herodas, no finds of inscrip- 
tions hke the Ode of IsyUus or the Code of Gortyn. (I do not 
under-rate the Lapis Niger and the Quirinal Urn, but Greek 
produces their equals every two or three years, and there is no 
sensation about them.) 

" The great value of the book is in Wordsworth's notes. 
They are full of the most varied and compressed information. 
Their mastery of all the relevant authorities up to his time 
is astonishing, especially at his age. One would think that 
the "mere reading of them must have taken all his time from 
his degree in 1865 to the publication of the book. On any 
one of the 280 closely printed pages there are at least a dozen 
references, which may be anywhere in antiquity from Homer 


to Prudentius, anj^vhere in the modern world from Scaliger 
to Lucian Miiller, and one can be sure that he has always 
read them for himself. And the collection is no mere com- 
pilation. On everything that he puts down he exercises a 
close and vigilant judgment, even on such an apparently 
ahen field as Roman Law. 

" In my first year as an undergraduate I heard Words- 
worth's lectures on Latin Grammar. They contained practically 
the same matter as the introduction to the Fragments and 
Specimens, which were published three years later. It is 
hard to imagine what a revelation the lectures were to a school- 
boy who had been brought up, as schoolboys were then, in 
the atmosphere of Max Miiller's lectures, to think of Compara- 
tive Philology as a thing of poetical and mystical enthusiasms 
founded on details which were quite inaccessible to anybody 
who was not familiar with Sanskrit and German. Here were 
the details plain to see, aU worked out in the field of the famihar 
Latin and capable of being verified by one's own immediate 
observation. For the first time one was admitted into the 
inner circle of Comparative Philology, to be no longer a mere 
admirer of the results but a fellow-worker in the processes. 
After that, my knowledge of him was very sUght. I held a 
short and very friendly dialogue with him across the table of 
the Schools in Honour Moderations (at that time that exami- 
nation included a viva voce), in which he began by asking me 
to ' speak a little louder, because it was so hot,' and went on 
to ask where I had learned Comparative Philology, and I had 
to answer, ' From your lectures,' and then we discoursed a 
httle on the classification of stems. And then, unhappily, 
I very rarely met him. I am afraid that neither of us was ever 
in the other's rooms, but when we did meet he was always 
friendly, and generally had something to say about our common 

To quote one more authority on the same work, 
Fragments and Specimens, Dr. Sanday ^ says that — 

" at once it showed its author's full cahbre. It is tempting 
to speculate what would have happened if John Wordsworth 

^ Proceedings of the British Academy, vol. v., 1912. 


had continued on these lines and had spent the rest of his days 
as a rival in erudition to Professor J. E. B. Mayor at Cambridge. 
We can imagine how such a par nohile fratrum would have 
been fitted to speak with the scholars of other nations in the 
gate. But this was not to be. The young tutor felt keenly 
his obligations for the religious training of his pupils ; and 
his steps were more and more deflected in the direction of 

But the change can be more precisely dated than 
Dr. Sanday's words indicate. One of his Brasenose 
colleagues, Mr. Humphry Ward, remembers that he 
congratulated Wordsworth on the completion of the 
Fragments, and asked wnat his next undertaking was to 
be. He was told that it would be theological. The 
transference of interests was not half-hearted. Chancellor 
Bernard, speaking of the change, says : — 

" there was a time when, in the words of the Ordinal, ' he 
drew all his cares and studies that way.' No half -measure 
would have enabled him to achieve what he did achieve in 
sacred learning, textual, liturgical, and historical. It is 
therefore not to be regretted, though worth remarking, that 
he appeared in later years to have entirely lost interest in 
classical literature, at any rate on its literary side. I do not 
remember his ever quoting a classic or betraying that delight 
in the beauty of Greek or Latin poetry which clings throughout 
life to those who have tasted them in youth." 

Perhaps the Chancellor has somewhat overstated the 
case. Yet from 1874 onwards, though Wordsworth 
was busily engaged in classical tuition for nine years, 
he did not go beyond the routine of duty in that pursuit. 
He had been Classical Moderator in Honours from 1870 
to 1872, and was Craven Examiner in 1870 and 1871, 
but he filled no such positions afterwards, nor did he 
take such part in the academic debates of the time, 
especially in regard to the important examination statute, 


as might have been expected of a tutor fully employed 
in the practical teaching of Oxford. In what small 
share he took, he was from time to time on the side of 
what was regarded as academic liberalism, repugnant 
though that side of Oxford thought was to him in matters 
more serious than the machinery of education. 

A visit to Italy in the Easter vacation of 1868 may 
serve as occasion for giving a specimen of his descriptive 
verse. He was alone, and worked very conscientiously 
at the sights of Parma, Bologna, and other cities. He 
sought out objects of interest that were not easily acces- 
sible ; his historical studies had already developed in 
him that iron resolve to see everything worth seeing that 
was sometimes in later years to be disconcerting to bashful 
or weary companions. It was natural that Ravenna 
should impress him, and he addressed a long descriptive 
poem from thence to his friend, Mr. W. J. Courthope, 
of which part is as follows : — 

" Brown Ravenna, and the shade 
Of her unnumbered pines, that ancient wood, 
Her noble rampart from the treacherous flood. 
All round is sand and marsh and dullest plain 
Rice-sown, with dykes between, and coarser grain. 
Straight dusty roads, old Rome's imperial lines 
Ruled for her legions : rows of rusty vines 
Bound to short close-clipped elms. Ravenna, where 
The weak slave-prince Honorius made his lair. 
And strong Theodoric ruled : where Dante lies 
(A poor cell decked with tasteless artifice) 
A sad deserted city, shrunk and bare. 
With nought of commerce but the common ware 
That her dull citizens use, who spend their days 
Smoking and lounging in the grass-grown ways. 
Leave the hot pavement and the rough-set street 
And o'er Vitale's threshold lift your feet : 
We seem (no more in Italy) 'neath the dome 
Of Saint Sophia, far in Asian Rome. 


Above the altar still, on either hand, 

In robes of state Emperor and Empress stand, 

The vain Justinian and his courtly throng. 

His vicious zealot-queen her maids among, 

As fresh and living as upon the day 

Great Charles stood here before them, on his way 

From Rome, a crowned emperor, grave, and filled 

With thoughts of high tradition : soon to build 

Like this at Aix a chapel of his own. 

Soon in its centre 'neath a simple stone. 

With but his name as epitaph, to lie." 

Though Justinian did not fall within the period he 
was treating for the Dictionary of Christian Biography, 
it was by a natural extension of interest that he turned 
to an age which afterwards grew very familiar. The 
Dictionary work was now making good progress. 
Ammianus, Constantine, Julian, and the rest called out 
his powers, and his articles are some of the fullest and 
most workmanlike in that very unequal assemblage. 

Meanwhile, the father had become Bishop of Lincoln. 
It was at Wellington College, where he was preaching 
on Sunday, 15th November, 1868, and where his son 
was also a guest of the head master, that Dr. Wordsworth 
first asked for counsel, in regard to Disraeli's letter 
" written pleasantly and courteously," ^ which opened 
to him the prospect of the episcopate. He had just 
received it at Stanford, and now disclosed it to Dr. 
Benson and his son. The story of the complications 
which preceded his election to Lincoln has already been 
told. His son was all for acceptance : — 

" for him I think it is a thing to be thankful about. He is 
sixty-one years old and not very strong, but generally quite 

^ See Chap. VII. of the Bishop of Lincoln's Life. Here, however, 
John Wordsworth is wrongly described as a Wellington master at this 


well. He has finished his commentary on the Bible nearly 
to the end of Jeremiah and Ezekiel ; Isaiah was pubUshed 
some weeks ago. And I am really glad that he should have 
some duties, not too laborious, I hope, to occupy him when 
this work of his hfe is over, as it must have been in a few months' 
time (probably the year after next). He has, I think, qualities 
in dealing with men and things which befit a man in authority ; 
and he has many noble plans, which it will be worth many a 
sacrifice to effect." 

For John Wordsworth the change meant the loss of 
both his homes, the one so pleasantly near to Oxford, 
the other giving him access to London life and to the 
British Museum. He felt deeply the departure from 

At his son's suggestion the Bishop designate appointed 
Dr. Benson one of his chaplains. Benson was grateful. 
"It is indeed due to you in the first instance that I was 
appointed, and I am very happy in it indeed. Nothing 
could more delight me." The friendship, already warm 
and confidential, rapidly extended to the whole Words- 
worth family. It was cemented by Benson's appoint- 
ment to the prebend of Heydour in Lincoln Cathedral ; 
an honorary post, but one which his vivid imagination 
fiUed with historical and practical interest. His letters 
to John Wordsworth grow increasingly long and intimate. 
He states to him the reasons for and against his leaving 
Wellington for Rugby, and unfolds the secret history of 
the unhappy events there after Temple's departure, his 
own sympathy being with the assistant masters. ^ Words- 
worth is informed of the progress of his Cyprianic studies, 
and has elaborate schemes of Pauline exegesis submitted 
for his criticism. But the most anxious part of the 
correspondence is that in which Benson justifies, for the 

1 " S. Oxon and Mansel," Benson learned, had procured the unfortu- 
nate appointment. 


Bishop's reading, his own championship of Temple, 
now Bishop designate of Exeter, against Dr. Pusey's 
protest and Bishop Wordsworth's suspicion. John Words- 
worth was in his father's counsels, and approved his 
appeal to Temple to disclaim sympathy with his partners 
in Essays and Reviews ; on the other hand, he had acted 
as examiner at Rugby, and so knew Temple, whom he 
describes in 1869 as having — 

" something curious in manner, which is hard to define — a 
kind of arbitrariness which finds vent in organisation, but 
might be petty and unpleasant. I did not dislike him at all 
even from the first ; in fact, I seemed to have known him 

There was, indeed, no serious ground for Benson's fear 
that Bishop Wordsworth might " take away his scarf." 
The two men were of one spirit, and a friendship which 
was to be of great value to both the Wordsworths, and 
to the whole English Church, was now firmly established.^ 

1 See Mr. A. C. Benson's Life of his father, passim, and especially 
Chaps. VII. and IX. Benson's address to his younger friend was 
usually " Dearest John." His less demonstrative correspondent was 
commonly content with " My dear Friend." 



Henry Octavius Coxe, Bodley's Librarian and one of 
Dean Burgon's " Twelve Good Men," was, in Burgon's 
words — 

" at the time of his death (8th July, 1881) perhaps the most 
generally known and universally beloved character in Oxford ; 
and may be declared to have carried with him to his grave 
a larger amount of hearty personal good will and sincere 
regret than any of his recent contemporaries." 

Susan Esther, his only daughter who survived child- 
hood, born i6th November, 1842, was pre-eminent in the 
general judgment among the younger ladies of Oxford 
for gifts and charm. An old friendship connected the 
family of Frere with that of Mrs. Coxe, who was the 
daughter of General Sir Hilgrove Turner, and the homes 
of the Coxes in Beaumont Street and at Wytham Rectory 
were open to John Wordsworth from his days as a fresh- 
man. He had interests in common with the Librarian, 
and with his elder son, William, who entered the British 
Museum and would have become a distinguished orienta- 
list had he not died young in 1869. 

The friendship with the family had grown into the 
wish to marry the daughter before Wordsworth was of 
age : the lady was ten months his senior. But, as we 
have seen, the uncertainty of livelihood had prevented 


him from revealing his wishes. Of his own family he took 
at first only one sister into liis confidence, and he suc- 
cessfully concealed his design from even the closest of 
his friends. Benson, for instance, himself so communi- 
cative, was left in the dark, and also Conington. In 
spite of various anxieties, reticence was maintained till 
Wordsworth was appointed tutor of his CoUege. Mr. 
Coxe, whom he then informed, was sympathetic, but 
forbade him to open the matter to his daughter. The 
problem of maintenance was, in fact, further from solution 
than ever, for the young tutor was coming to the con- 
clusion that residence in Oxford, even at the cost of 
celibacy, was his duty. There was, however, no coldness 
in his affections, and though the path to marriage was 
not yet clear he was allowed to state his case after a 
year's restriction, and John Wordsworth and Susan Esther 
Coxe were betrothed. The lady, announcing the event 
to her future brother-in-law (loth May, 1869), describes 
herself as — 

" frightened out of myself at the notion of belonging to such 
a clever family. I wonder what a butterfly would do in a 
beehive. I think bees just as pretty as butterflies, so don't 
think this a conceited simile." 

The engagement was evidently a very happy one. 
The lovers were constantly meeting, and Wordsworth 
was inspired to salute the lady not only with much grace- 
ful English verse, in which the influence of Matthew 
Arnold is apparent, but also in an Italian sonnet after 
the manner of Petrarch. It was also approved by his 
friends. One of them, who deservedly had the right to 
be frank, wrote to him : — 

" You were a person who ought to marry, and all your 
student ways and inclinations, which are my admiration, would 
without a wife have turned you into a dry, rather uncouth and 
rather eccentric recluse." 



But this approbation did not bring the prospect 
of marriage nearer. For Wordsworth and his friends 
regarded it as his duty to stay in Oxford and take 
a share in the impending conflicts, both religious and 
administrative. It was a time of anxiety and bitter- 
ness, and (as it seemed to them) the younger men were 
called to take the lead. Westcott, a dreamer of noble 
dreams, added exhortation to his congratulations ^ : — 

" I rejoice at the prospect of your own ' complete life ' : 
I rejoice that you have determined to continue your work at 
Oxford ; and I rejoice not less at what you tell me of the general 
spirit of the younger Oxford residents. May you indeed have 
every blessing in your life and work. The time seems to be 
' short,' but if only we can realise the strength which is ours 
it is long enough to vindicate for the Church of England her 
mission to the world. Argument seems to have fallen now into 
the second place, and what we want is action. Nothing else, 
I think, will win men but Ufe, and will keep them and even 
strengthen them. I do not think you will really suffer from 
the want of an older leader. As the work is social, I believe 
that your strength wiU really be greater from the completeness 
and sympathy which springs from equality of standing. It 
was so with the last great Oxford movement, and it may be 
so now. Faith can still do all things ev Xpto-rw, but we ." 

In the same spirit wrote Benson ^ — 

" I never dreamed that any Aurora but Philology had been 
making you so abstr actions by times. However, I am delighted. 
But I stiU should have moaned a little for Theo-Philo-logy 
had there not been exceeding auguries for your continued 
devotion to her in the fact that it will be possible for you 
to live in Oxford, and that associations with all Learnedness 
wiU form part of the furniture of your Bride's early recol- 
lections as well as your own. . . . ' Marriage is honourable 
in all,' but it is grievous to see what sacrifices most scholars 

1 Harrow, loth June, 1869. 

* Master's Lodge, Wellington College, ist June, 1869. 


make to it. Mind you do not disappoint ras Trpoayova-a^ i-n-l o-e 

7rpo</)i7Tetas.i As to Coll. Aen. Nas., I hope you will succeed 
in holding it as a citadel. I suppose people arriving at 
40 are apt to croak and think their reasons are better than those 
of former croakers. But if some people do not somewhere 
go in for Theology determinedly and occupy positions and 
throw up entrenchments I think our English Church-Land 
will be lost. If you are helped to hold Brasenose by marrying, 
as a post of vantage, your marriage will be blest indeed." 

But marriage meant the forfeiture of the fellowship, 
and some substitute had to be found. Mr. Coxe thought 
he had discovered it in the little vicarage of Ferry 
Hinksey, and at his suggestion this living was offered to 
Wordsworth by the patron, Mr. Harcourt of Nuneham. 
Wordsworth was strongly attracted, and did his best to 
win the assent of the Principal of Brasenose. 

" I feel," he wrote to Dr. Cradock, " and others who know 
me feel, that I should be personally better for some work 
amongst the poor, and indirectly a better teacher. ... I 
believe that I should be able to manage the two (the vicarage 
and tutorship) without detriment to the College. I believe 
that if I have a work of this kind on the spot I am less likely 
to be drawn away to other places, and so far shall be a more 
permanent worker. I have not anything of my father's 
strength and perseverance, but I have at least an example 
in his case how much may be combined with the management 
of a large and difficult parish. As to the moral strength to 
be gained by parochial work I have no doubt that it is great, 
and I would gladly have this opportunity of -self-improve- 
ment. But above all I feel the duty to go on in the work which 
I have in hand in the College, which grows clearer before me, 
and therefore, if you think this cannot be combined with 
Hinksey, I shall decidedly give it up." 

Its nearness to Oxford, the smallness of its population, 
and the ease with which clerical assistance could be 

1 I Tim. i. 18. 


obtained, all made Hinksey a suitable place for the 
experiment. But the Principal was inexorable ; a 
lectureship, he said, might be held with the living, but 
not a tutorship, and his opposition was fatal. This was 
the only occasion when Wordsworth came near to taking 
a parish. After ten years a pleasant living in Sussex 
was offered him by the College, but he refused it on the 
ground that he still had work to do in Oxford. Yet 
parish work would have been thoroughly congenial 
to him, and as a Bishop he seized every opportunity of 
exercising the more spiritual functions of the clergy. 
He may even be regarded as having been in a remote 
sense a founder of the Oxford House at Bethnal Green. 
In 1872 he urged the Warden of Keble and other friends 
to settle with him at Nottingham for part of the Long 
Vacation that they might study Church work in a great 
town. The plan broke down, but was renewed next 
year, when Lincoln was suggested as the scene. But 
by this time St. Saviour's, Hoxton, where Mr. Oakley, 
afterwards Dean of Manchester, was vicar, had drawn 
the attention of Wordsworth's group of friends, and a 
course of sermons there in Lent, 1873,^ was the beginning 
of the connection between Oxford and the East End of 
London. Wordsworth himself did not take part in 
the visit to Hoxton, and the projected residence at Lincoln 
in the following summer was abandoned. Yet he had 
had his share in initiating the movement. 

Meanwhile, he was doing his best to gain religious 
influence in Brasenose. Before he had been tutor a year 
he vainly proposed that occasional sermons should be 
preached in the chapel ; in the summer term of i86g 
he got permission to hold a late evening service on Sundays 
with an address by himself. It is not clear whether 

1 By R. S. Copleston, H. S. Holland, R. C. Moberly, E. S. Talbot, 
and other members of Mozley's graduate class. 


this was in addition to the lectures he was giving on 
Sunday evenings in that term, which he thus described 
to his brother ^ : — 

"... I go on with my Sunday evenings successfully 
enough. On Trinity Sunday I shall read on St. Paul and 
Philo, having spent three evenings on the text of the first 
four chapters of i Corinthians. I am reading Philo de 
Monarchia as a specimen treatise. My idea is to write a 
lecture taking for the text i Cor. i. 22-24. Here you have 
the contrast between the a-rmeta and SvVa/Ats on the Jewish 
side and the cro<^ta on the Greek ; thoughts exemplified very 
strongly by the two words aHhv or aiwves and koo-jU-os— the 
world looked upon as a succession of ages in which the pro- 
vidence of God is displayed by miracles and by the ordering 
of events in an historical and spiritual progress (aiaJves) ; 
the world conceived as a whole in time — the Jewish thought. 
On the other side the world conceived as a wonderful order, 
a work of art, a harmony of parts of which the individual 
man is the centre or at least the proper spectator (koV/xos) ; 
the world conceived (you may say) in space — the Greek idea. 
Now the reconciliation of these is a problem which must always 
be interesting, but was then particularly imder discussion, 
especially at Alexandria, the confluence of East and West. 
Philo had the problem well before him, and made use of the 
Jewish Scriptures to solve it. Naturally he hit upon many 
truths, many likenesses of phrase and thought with the N.T., 
but his failure, where Christianity (especially interpreted 
by St. Paul) has confessedly succeeded, is at once a great 
proof of the divine origin of the Christian solution, and adds 
a great interest to it historically, as we see that it came when 
it was needed by mankind and was addressed to them not as 
a mere miracle to attract attention but as a grace vouchsafed 
in answer to the demands of their heart and their intellect." 

If such an address were open to the College, and not 
confined to a smaller and more intellectual audience, he 
was putting a severe strain on the attention of the normal 

^ 12th May, 1869. 


undergraduate. As might have been expected, he was 
soon urging the Principal to sanction changes in the order 
of service. It was characteristic that he wished to adopt 
the Christ Church custom of using daily the second 
Ember Prayer, on the ground of the large number of 
candidates for ordination. It was his pride in his later 
days at Brasenose that on the average four-ninths of the 
graduates of the College had entered Holy Orders during 
each year of his tutorship. 

But if he had evidence of usefulness which made it 
worth his while, even at the cost of postponing his marriage, 
to stay where he was, the instinct of combat encouraged 
this resolve. Already in 1868 he had told his friends 
that the ideal of many of the fellows was not his own. 
They were for changes in the University and the Colleges 
which offended his strongest feelings. He was convinced 
that the ancient ways were best, and the more so that 
they were clerical ways. His family, not in a merely 
obstructive sense, was conservative ; he preserved a 
touching letter from his mother, written on his election 
to Brasenose, in which she urged him amid the general 
defection of the time to be loyal to ancient truth and order. 
The University was a Christian institution, pledged to 
inculcate a specific form of Christian belief and to require 
its acceptance from those whom it taught ; the Colleges, 
by the intention of their founders, were still more definitely 
Christian. This view of the case was being assailed with 
extraordinary vigour and pertinacity, and the language 
and methods of its opponents were such as to irritate 
its upholders ; perhaps, indeed, they were designed to 
irritate them. There is a touch of absurdity to-day 
about the ideas, practical and philosophical and religious, 
of those who thought themselves emancipated, and leaders 
of progress, forty-five years ago. Their notions have not 
worn well. But they were formidable adversaries, and 


the causes they promoted were often better than their 
arguments. On the other side, there was a good deal 
of despondency, and a tendency on the part of earnest 
men to draw together, to emphasise their peculiarities 
by way of protest, to be an influence for good rather 
within the circle of their own adherents than by a diffused 
activity. The outburst of hopefulness among Churchmen 
which followed upon Oxford's acceptance of the teaching 
of T. H. Green only began as Wordsworth was leaving 
the University. His was a time of bitterness, social 
too often as well as argumentative. And the issues were 
confused and tempers sharpened on either side by a 
certain hollowness in both positions. The aggressors 
promised that they would do great things if the University 
were set free, while in fact their men, moulded by the 
old traditions of Oxford, were no better qualified to work 
a beneficent revolution than their opponents ; it would 
be idle to say that the change which they achieved, 
inevitable and even desirable as it may have been, pro- 
vided more efficient or more distinguished teachers than 
Oxford had before possessed. On the other hand, their 
adversaries, proclaiming the value of clerical fellowships, 
were confronted by the obvious fact that many clerical 
fellows did not share their enthusiasm or illustrate the 
advantage of the existing system. 

Into this sea of conflict Wordsworth made an early 
plunge. He addressed a public letter to the Warden 
designate of Keble College, the Rev. E. S. Talbot,^ en- 
titled " Keble College and the present University Crisis," ^ 
dated 4th December, 1869. In it he covered the whole 
ground of dispute. Were religious tests any longer to 
exist in the University ? If the University were thrown 
open, should the Colleges maintain the exclusiveness 

1 Now Bishop of Winchester. 

2 Published by Parker & Co., Oxford, 1869. 


of their present statutes ? What, if the worst came to 
the worst, were Churchmen to do ? The first question 
was answered by the Act of 1871, the second, after long 
controversy, by the statutes of the Commission of 1882. 
Meanwhile, Keble College had been designed, not only for 
the benefit of those who should study there, but that it 
might " react upon the rest of the University," being 
secured by deed of trust for the sole service of the Church 
of England.^ The admission of the College to the 
privileges of the University as a " new foundation " was 
bitterly opposed, and even after it was sanctioned the 
unfledged institution was still pursued with animosity. 
The impending triumph of the academic Liberals would 
be marred by this standing reminder of the ancient ways, 
and the curious passion for uniformity which led that 
generation to abolish so many gracious and harmless 
peculiarities of Oxford life was offended by this con- 
spicuous exception. On the other hand, the friends of 
the Church had high expectations not only of the practical 
usefulness of the College, but also of its value as a protest 
and perhaps as a refuge. In this spirit Wordsworth 
wrote to congratulate the Warden and to survey the 
scene. Keble College was starting with the principles 
with which the older Colleges had started ; those — 

"with which, it seems to me, a College should reasonably 
start — the maintenance of a life suitable to poor scholars, 
and the preservation and propagation of a distinct Christian 

So it had been with Brasenose : — 

" It has always been in our power to appeal to the double 
character of our College, as a place for poor men to work in, 
and as a place for Christian men to become better Christians, 
better Churchmen, and generally more religious and devout." 

^ See Pusey's speech at the laying of the foundation stone in his 
Life, iv. 204. 


But Oxford is now looking to Parliament, and expecting 
an answer to the question, " Is any religious profession 
to be any longer a necessary part of our institutions ? " 
It is generally believed that tests imposed at degrees 
and upon taking University office will be removed, and 
Wordsworth welcomes this : — 

" In Oxford we hate the sound of the word ' Tests ' ; we 
hate the insincerity which has followed them, and the slur 
that has been cast on official professions of faith." 

But the case is different with the Colleges, where 
association is so much closer. Their inward bond of 
union is being threatened — 

" by the widespread jealousy of dogma, and the tendency all 
over Europe to secularise and destroy all foundations that 
stand up above the common level." 

Not Nonconformist hostility to the National Church, 
but a wider and less palpable movement is the danger : — 

" ' Let us get rid of all our prejudices, and try if we cannot 
make the civilisation of the world sufiicient for universal 
happiness.' It is a grand thought, I own; and it is being 
put in practice on a grand scale in Germany. Are we ready 
to make Oxford the theatre for a like spectacle ? " 

If we do so, Oxford will inevitably become less religious 
than it is. 

" How," he asks, "will it be possible, in fairness, to reject 
any man as a teacher, whatever his opinions, if only he is 
competent to teach ? " 

There will be inward strife, CoUege tutors striving to 
win adherents to their own theories ; or else the teachers 
will be mere specialists, caring only for their own studies ; 
or again, in the interests of peace, they will " confine 
themselves to inculcating an undogmatic morality." But 
dogma is necessary for education : — 

" the distinctively Christian doctrine of the resurrection of 
the body, resting upon the resurrection of Christ, is the only 


foundation for a morality that is to be really successful and 
reproductive. . . . For the sake of such a doctrine, and for 
the power it gives us of kindling life in others, we are ready to 
sacrifice present communion with much that is attractive and 
beautiful in itself. It is for this that we wish to retain our 
Colleges, not from an envious or sectarian spirit. And for 
the sake of this it is that I congratulate you, as heartily as 
I do, on being called to inaugurate an institution that is to 
be a nursery of the Christian life." 

Without a definite principle of association, the Colleges 
had better go. 

"If we are set merely to teach every one his particular 
study, why should we Hve together at all? Of what use, 
in such a case, is the College system ? It becomes, you will 
agree, an anomaly, without a rational cause for existence. 
We shall have hardly any other motive for living together 
than that of being paid by a common Bursar." 

He is willing to make large sacrifices to maintain his 
ideal. Let the Colleges surrender great part of their 
income to the secular University, and let them survive 
under such a government as that of the great public 
schools, with a council chiefly composed of their own 
most distinguished former members. There will be a 
corporate spirit and an intelligible principle. Yet he 
has little hope that such a scheme will be accepted. If 
the " so-called act of justice " is to be done, they must 
submit. " For you, however, my dear Talbot, there will 
be this melancholy consolation : while we are lying 
mutilated and spiritless, you will be rising." As the 
monasteries were the refuge of the dark ages, so such 
foundations as Keble must be now. 

" The barbarism we have to contend against is the bar- 
barism of civilisation. It is gradually but surely rising roimd 
us, and we must strengthen our towers and trim our lamps if 
we are to give any light above the flood." 


In this tone of despondency he concludes, a tone which, 
in those days of Positivism and other forgotten aggres- 
sions, was that of Pusey and of Liddon, Liddon main- 
tained it to the end of his Oxford career, as in the famous 
sermon of 1882, when he bade the faithful abandon 
Oxford for Zanzibar. Wordsworth, employed in the 
practical work of the University, was to learn hope from 
experience. In later controversy his note was not so 
plaintive. It is not probable that this published letter 
attracted much attention. Certainly its proposals would 
not be welcome to the champions of the College system 
as it was then, and still is ; he had obviously ignored some 
of its advantages and stated others in brighter colours 
than they actually wore. But for its author it had an 
important result ; it brought him into contact with 
Dr. Liddon, and so gave him his first opening for University 

Liddon and he were strangers when he sent the great 
preacher a copy of the letter and received an approving 
reply. Six months later, on the nth June, 1870, Liddon 
was elected to the Ireland Professorship. He had just 
become Canon of St. Paul's, and he wished to make that 
ill-endowed chair as serviceable as possible to the School 
of Theology which had lately been founded, largely 
through the influence of his master, Dr. Pusey. Pusey, 
indeed, was at first adverse to his going to London — 

"on the ground that I should be taken away from Oxford, 
and ought to remain to work the Theological School and 
prevent its getting into the hands of the Rationalists. He 
became very pathetic and emphatic." ^ 

What Liddon could not himself do, he entrusted to 
Wordsworth, as to one who was not only a competent 
scholar, but had just shown by his published letter that he 

^ Liddon's Life. p. 120 


favoured the maintenance of clerical teaching in Oxford as 
a safeguard of orthodoxy. On the i8th June, 1870, a week 
after Liddon's election to the Professorship, Wordsworth 
accepted his offer of the post of his " Assistant Lecturer." 
Liddon was generous in his confidence, making no condi- 
tions save that the lectures were to be on subjects appointed 
for the School. Once or twice he suggested topics, and 
often he expressed his gratitude for Wordsworth's aid. 
The lectures at first were given thrice a week ; before 
long Liddon, knowing the extent of Wordsworth's labours, 
insisted that they should only be given twice. They 
began in the Michaelmas term of 1870, and continued, 
except for the two years (1876-78) in which Words- 
worth acted as deputy-professor for J. B. Mozley,i till 
Liddon's resignation of the chair in October, 1882. ^ The 
School was as yet somewhat rudimentary, the subjects 
of examination fewer, and the treatment perhaps more 
homiletical than it is at present. Certainly no lecturer 
to-day could expect an audience to spend a year on one 
of the shorter Epistles of St. Paul. Beside the lectures, 
Wordsworth in his later tenure of the office held small 
evening classes for discussion at his own house, the last 
two being on the Canon of the New Testament in 1881, 
and on Westcott and Hort's Greek Testament in 1882. 
These must have been among the earliest experiments 
in the German method of the " Seminar " to be made in 

As a guide to those who followed his lectures he printed 

^ For these two years the assistant lecturership to the Ireland Pro- 
fessor was held by Mr. Charles Gore of Trinity, now Bishop of Oxford. 

' Wordsworth's subjects were Ephesians (twice), Colossians, 
Philippians, i Corinthians, St. Mark, St. John. He also lectured on 
the History of the Kings of Israel and Judah, the English Text of 
Jeremiah, the Life and Epistles of St. Paul, Some Difficulties of the 
Gospel History, the Life and Ministry of our Lord. Each of these 
courses lasted for a year. He drew largely on the patristic commentators, 
such as Jerome and Theodoret. 


in 1876 Some Elements of Gospel Harmony, a tract of 
fifty-six pages which he never pubhshed. Dr. Sandaj' 
thus notices it ^ : — 

" It would be wrong to attach too much importance to 
this pamphlet, which does not profess to be more than a 
collection of notes. And yet it is (to the best of my belief) 
the only direct treatment by him that we have of the central 
question of the Gospels ; and there is some significance both 
in what it contains and in what it does not contain. The 
strong point about it is the scholarly presentment of external 
data ; the most notable omission is that of any attempt at 
internal critical analysis. In regard to the origin of the Gospels 
the writer's mind appears to be in a state of suspense ; the 
authority that he seems most inchned to follow is Bishop 
Westcott's Introduction to the Study of the Gospels — one of 
the least satisfactory of its author's works, and calling for 
criticism all the more because it is so full of ingenuities. 
Throughout his hfe Wordsworth appears to have maintained 
a considerable reserve on the deeper questions of criticism ; 
he was naturally conservative, and yet he moved with the times 
in a restrained and sober way." 

Gospel study has so changed since 1876 that it will 
suffice to say that the Elements are a full and accurate 
discussion of the principal dates in the Gospels, and of 
the designs of the four Gospels as revealed by their own 
statements, as discovered by comparison of contents, 
and as recorded by tradition. The author subjected his 
work to careful revision, and began to print a new edition, 
taking cognisance of the literature down to 1879. This, 
however, was never completed, and there is no evidence 
to show whether he meant to publish it in this more 
perfect form. 

The first years of his work for Liddon mark the climax 
of Wordsworth's activity. He was taking his full share 
of the Moderations work, Honour and Pass, in his College ; 

Proceedings of the British Academy, vol. v., ut supra. 


he was giving advanced lectures on Latin subjects, and 
laboriously preparing an important classical book ; he 
was, for a while, giving the whole theological teaching 
in Brasenose, for the College did not enter into a combined 
scheme till 1872. He was also busy, as we shall to some 
extent see, in other ways. It is no wonder that the 
burden of his friends' letters at this time is the danger 
of overwork. In this anxiety Liddon shared, but though 
they quickly became intimate, walking together and con- 
stantly exchanging views, his warnings had as little 
effect as those of others. Yet to Liddon, Wordsworth 
became deeply attached ; the smallest scraps of his 
writing, invitations to a lunch or a walk, have been 
treasured. Dr. King, the late Bishop of Lincoln, is the 
only other correspondent of Wordsworth to whom he has 
shown the same honour. And when Liddon resigned his 
professorship he made unavailing efforts to secure the 
office for his assistant. 

Liddon's payment for his services was a welcome addi- 
tion to Wordsworth's income, but though Brasenose paid 
its tutors better than most Colleges, ^ it did not seem as 
yet that he could marry. However, in the summer of 
1870 the problem was solved. The two fathers agreed to 
make up the amount of the fellowship that would be 
forfeited, and the College was glad to retain the services 
of the tutor. The marriage took place at Wytham Church 
on Innocents' Day, 28th December, 1870. Miss Elizabeth 
Wordsworth says of the bride : — 

" We gained in her one of the most charming and affectionate 
of sisters-in-law. She brought to him just the qualities which 
he wanted in a wife. It was like ' the setting of perfect 
music unto noble words ' of which Tennyson speaks, and our 
whole family, his Oxford pupils, and later the whole diocese 

^ See Replies to Circulars of Oxford University Commissioners^ 
188 1, Appendix, p. 97. 


of Salisbury, had reason to bless the day which made them man 
and wife." ^ 

The husband, as he was about the same time, has 
been described 2 thus : — 

" In person Wordsworth was thin and spare, with a very 
pale complexion, and he had a curious habit of often appearing 
abstracted and half asleep, when in reality his attention was 
actively concentrated on the subject in hand, as his remarks 
would show. For pupils and friends of more ordinary mould 
than himself, ' Jacky ' Wordsworth was full of surprises. 
At a Welsh reading party, in the midst of a conversation out 
a-walk, he would suddenly leap a stone wall — 

' Apollo 
Mortales medio aspectus sermone reliquit.' 
Or if a pupil who had just got through Honour Moderations 
asked him what study he might best take up for a livelihood 
after his degree, Wordsworth, after a pause, would suggest 
EgjTptian hieroglyphics. Like a true scholar he would assume 
that his pupils also had a genuine interest in study. . . ." 

The writers go on to describe his wife : — 

" His partner and helpmeet throughout his Oxford life 
was that most amiable, bright, and sympathetic of ladies, 
Susan, the only daughter of ' Bodley Coxe.' The shyest 
freshman felt at home in her presence ; the fourth year man, 
now a hardened misogynist, felt misgivings when she talked 
with him, and the faces of her College friends, in later life, 
would light up with enthusiasm at her name." 

The marriage was, indeed, a remarkable union of 
mutually helpful gifts and characteristics. Evidence 
much fuller than can be printed in these pages has been 
furnished of the extraordinary and lasting influence 
exercised by the Wordsworths upon Brasenose men 

1 Glimpses of the Past, p. 127. There is a description of young 
Mrs. Wordsworth in Chap. V. of that book. 

* By C. B. H. and F. M., Salisbury Diocesan Gazette, 191 1, p. 188. 


when they had, after a year spent with the Coxes in 
Beaumont Street, taken up their home at i, Keble Terrace. 
The husband's quaintness in manner and language was 
itself an attraction, and though it was not in the least 
a pose he must have been encouraged in his uncon- 
ventionality by the knowledge that it helped to win the 
heart of his pupils. The attempt that is made here to 
describe this lighter side of his life, though it is illustrated 
only by the memories of Brasenose men, is coloured by 
my own reminiscences of his first years at Salisbury, when 
he and his wife were still what they had been at Oxford 
and when, among some of the younger clergy, they still 
exercised their Oxford charm. One of his most striking 
qualities was a capacity for silence, even (or perhaps 
especially) when speech would have been helpful. His 
wife has been known to complain that he would rather 
read Bradshaw upside-down than talk to her. In such 
a difficulty she was at her best. She would not only 
fill the void by her own bright conversation, but would 
effectually waken him. This, which was part of the 
entertainment expected in Keble Terrace, has often 
saved the situation at parochial and even diocesan 
meetings which were in danger of failure through the 
muteness of the Bishop. 

But he was most impressive through the high demands 
he made upon all who came under his influence. He 
assumed that they had ability and the will to use it, and 
he would take for granted, without evidence and some- 
times against all probability, that they had some such 
knowledge and interest as his own. I once heard him 
gravely advising a little workhouse boy, who had been 
set to weed his garden at Salisbury, to keep up his Latin, 
for it would be useful to him in regard to the scientific 
names of plants. A similar, if less heroic, assumption 
was habitually made in his advice to Brasenose men. 

\ \ ' . 




This overrating of their powers, and also of their strength 
of will, was doubtless sometimes amusing and sometimes 
irritating. But if his geese were apt to be swans, it is 
certain that this expectation of great things from men 
was not without effect. Never, at Oxford or in later life, 
would he suggest, or even sanction, the idea that com- 
fortable acquiescence in ignorance or ineffectiveness 
was a pardonable thing. Yet with this high standard 
there went a wide, sometimes a curiously wide, tolerance. 
In a good sense, he was a man of the world, and very 
patient with the sallies of high-spirited youth. As 
Proctor, in 1875, he not merely attained the common and 
qualified success that the undergraduate world did not 
dislike him ; there is evidence that he was actually 
popular. He took, indeed, an unfeigned personal interest 
in those with whom he had to do, and though the manners 
of his day were far from the unrestrained familiarity of 
modern Oxford, he took a step towards less formal relations 
by addressing his pupils by their surname only. This was 
new in Brasenose, as in the Colleges in general, and at 
first provoked some resentment. Wordsworth had learnt 
the use at New College, where the combination in a small 
society of graduate and undergraduate fellows, which 
lingered into his time, had made it natural. The general 
result of this treatment of his men was that without any 
devices for the gaining of influence he succeeded in gaining 
it, aided by the special gifts of his wife ; and numbers 
who would have resented the suggestion that the discipline 
lauded in his letter to the Warden of Keble was being 
exercised on themselves did in fact unconsciously submit 
to it. It was a frequent event that young men, who 
were passing through Oxford without any definite plan 
for the future, came to regard the ministry of the Church 
as their proper sphere. 

The evidence for his success may begin with a 



statement whose genial exaggeration is so obvious that 
it cannot offend : — 

" In the seventies Brasenose was a huge practical joke, 
and we all enjoyed ourselves amazingly. But all but John 
Wordsworth and those whom he influenced were frankly 
pagans, save for the remembrance of pubhc school memories 
of better things." 

Another writes more specifically, with reference to the 
hospitality which was known among Brasenose men as 
" Crumpets and Corinthians " : — 

" There was no one on the College staff whom the men 
respected more, not merely for his great intellectual gifts, but 
for his unbounded kindness and the high standard of Hfe which 
he set before us. His house in Keble Terrace was in the truest 
sense a home to any B.N.C. man who cared to come there. 
The present writer cannot exaggerate the help and happiness 
of those Sunday evenings. Sometimes heroic efforts were made 
to begin with some Greek Testament reading in the dining- 
room, but we soon moved upstairs where Mrs. Wordsworth 
was ready to give us tea and coffee and the fullest share of 
that wonderful personal charm and S5anpathy which were so 
pecuharly her own. There one often met men and women of 
mark and interest, and John Wordsworth never failed to 
introduce us as if we ignoramuses were people well worth 
knowing. I think this was one of his many wonderful cha- 
racteristics that, being so great himself, he always seemed to 
treat you as if you were his intellectual equal. This had its 
embarrassing side, as when he turned to you and said, ' Of 
course you have read so and so,' mentioning some obscure 
and learned ancient writer, of whom probably you had never 
heard, and seemed quite surprised that you were not familiar 
with him. Another mark was his great generosity. He spared 
neither trouble nor money to help those who, he thought, 
needed help. The present writer owes his first visit to the 
Lakes to his generosity, being taken with him one Long 
Vacation as his guest ; a visit the memory of which, though 
nearly forty years old, is still fresh." 


The fullest and most idyllic account of the Wordsworths 
has come from a later pupil, Archdeacon Bodington. It 
is curious to note in it how the love of music, which had 
been strong when his courtship took in part the form 
of a devotion to Beethoven, seems to have disappeared ; 
and it is clear that the harshness, doubtless due to anxiety, 
of which a friend had complained during the same period, ^ 
has also vanished. 

" The two things that stand out in my memory are first 
a kind of affectionate domesticity, of truly Wordsworthian 
quality, so that he seemed to show the same sort of interest 
in your life that your mother would ; desiring your comfort 
and happiness in little ways almost equally (so it really seemed) 
with your welfare in big things, and consequently giving you 
advice about your meals and all your living arrangements 
as if he wanted you (and I am sure he did) to make a bit of 
real home about you in College, because he thought you 
would be happier and that it was a good thing for your cha- 
racter. It was really just like his well-known interest in after 
years in the engagements and marriages of his friends and 
clergy. It was founded on his own intense love of simple, 
elemental human nature and life, which I suppose he derived 
from his ancestry and the influence of his mother and of his 
intensely happy marriage. 

" Then, secondly, his insight was striking — optimistic 
but realistic. He seemed to see all the possible tragedy of 
life, and equally its possibilities of success. In chapel he 
impressed me, and I think all of us in greater or less degree, 
intensely. It was his reality. With others, forms might be 
formal ; never so with him. That was why Evangelical and 
High Church folk equally believed in him, if they had any 
reality in themselves. I remember Canon Christopher's 
respect and confidence in, and affection for, him, expressed 
when I first went to see him. And I am sure that the typical 
Brasenose undergraduate of those days in his heart had some 
such combination of feelings for him, however much he might 

^ See p. 65. 


dread an arm-in-arm conversation with ' Jacky,' as we called 
him, round the quad. I remember Mrs. Wordsworth more 
than once telling us of his passing sleepless nights from anxiety 
and sorrow over some pupil who was doing wrong. Innocent 
and simple as in those days he seemed, without (at that time) 
the rather rugged Gothic humour which experience of life 
afterwards developed in him, he was always influencing us 
by his unworldliness and moral earnestness. He was good for 
our souls. 

" The first time I saw Mrs. Wordsworth was on my first 
Sunday evening in Oxford. It was their practice to keep open 
house after 8 p.m. on Sundays for Brasenose men. I remember 
finding her entertaining a drawing room full of them. No 
one who ever saw her in those circumstances is Ukely to forget 
it. Her large dark eyes, sparkling with fun, wit, and intelli- 
gence, were the feature which expressed most fully the brilliance 
for which she was distinguished. She was as quick as lightning 
in perception, in mental and spiritual movement, in talk. 
She sat in the middle and fairly poured forth floods of brilliant 
talk, but also a great deal of knowledge too. Rarely, in the 
case of a new acquaintance, did she fail to seem to know him 
before he had said anything or done anything to make himself 
known. Soon her wondrous S5mipathy and kindness drew us 
out of our shell. I never heard her say an unkind word. Yet 
she did not spoil, but educate us, and meant to. She chaffed 
us aU and each, dons included. We loved it, and it did us 
no end of good. No thought of arousing admiration or of 
self at all ever entered her head, although she was so sensitive 
and reaUy, I think, desirous of the affection even of us, raw 
and self-centred as we often were. She poured out a mother's 
interest, if not a mother's love, upon us, without one touch 
of patronage, without one failure of tact. She, only less than 
her husband, had the domesticity I spoke of beautifully, if 
sometimes oddly, dove-tailed in with idealism. They expected 
us to have the same, and helped to give it us. 

" On one of those Sunday nights, in the middle of a letter- 
game, a servant announced with a long and startled face, ' If 
you please'm, the kitchen boiler has burst.' But no one 
seemed surprised. Our host and hostess resolutely refused 
to be troubled, nor would they visit the scene of ruin, but 


begged one of us to go and report. Every Friday evening 
also Mrs. Wordsworth was at home. I remember how Mr. 
Wordsworth, who was not musical, used occasionally from 
his chair and book to protest politely and affectionately against 
the very loud noise that he said she was making, though it 
might be an adagio. But another time it would be her turn 
against him when, seized with the desire to make the most of 
his opportunities, he would read us a sermon, say of Dr. 
Mozley, and she, feeling as usual to a nicety the pulse of the 
assembly, would after a time begin to fidget with her foot, 
until she could bear it no longer and cried, ' Oh ! really, 
John, we have had enough.' Often Mr. Wordsworth's pupils 
would be invited to dine, and then there was her sketching- 
class for the more favoured few ; really a lasting benefit 
through Ufe. In all these and other unselfish ways Mr. and 
Mrs. Wordsworth did for us more than perhaps either we 
or they knew ; it was indeed no small part of our Oxford 

" I think we were more afraid of him in those days than 
we were ever afterwards as clergy in his diocese. WhUe 
deep in books and MSS., it was through his wife chiefly that 
he best understood young men's hmnan nature. He had a 
quaint way of making remarks about one's clothes. ' Why 
do you wear such a briUiant waistcoat ? ' ' Before you touch 
that book, are your hands quite clean ? ' He put alarming 
questions to us, and seemed astonished and even grieved at 
our ignorance ; ^ so when somebody translated yAwo-o-oKo/tov 2 
* with an impediment in his speech,' amid our roars of laughter, 
he quietly said, ' I thought every Christian man would have 
known better.' 

" In those days his interest was much more of the bookish 
order than it was afterwards. He disHked, or seemed sus- 
picious of, mathematics and science. Mrs. Wordsworth used 
to tell us that books were her rivals, and that she had to lead 
him past the bookshops as if they were pubHc houses. I 
remember weU this vein in her when seven additional tons of 
books arrived at SaHsbury from his father's hbrary at Lincoln. 

^ Cf. Archbishop Benson's Life, i. 222. 
2 St. John xii. 6. 


" In my second term I had a severe illness. It was then 
I first knew the extraordinary tenderness of the man. Every 
morning after chapel he used to come round to see me. He 
would pray the most beautiful simple extempore prayer, with 
the tears running down his cheeks. I shall always cherish 
many of the strength-giving words of manly and childlike 
faith and trust and piety which he spoke. He would surely 
have made a great pastor of a country parish, which indeed 
was his and her chief wish at this time. His Wordsworthian 
qualities of quiet strength, faith, simplicity, piety, and tender- 
ness would have made country people rest on him, and through 
him on God." 

Another pupil ^ records a kindness, o± special value 
when there was no Acland Home ^ for members of the 
University in sickness : — 

" When I had been up about a year and a half I was taken 
seriously ill in the insanitary buildings in the back quad. 
When John Wordsworth [Mr. Kinder's tutor] became aware 
of this, which was not for several days, he sent a cab to the 
College and had me removed to his house at Keble Terrace, 
and also asked my mother to stay there. This kindness of 
keeping us there was continued for a fortnight, until I was 
convalescent. It enabled me to keep my term." 

But instances of his kindness, ranging from help in 
serious emergencies to the loan of a few pounds to carry 
an improvident youth to his home at the end of term, 
might be multiplied ad infinitum. 

Reading parties counted then for more than now, and 
Wordsworth made a practice of conducting one, usually 
to the Lake District, each Long Vacation. There was 
plenty of work, and plenty of entertainment. Among 
the accounts that have reached me is one of a party 

1 The Rev. E. H. Kinder, B.A., 1880, now Rector of Kirby Bedon, 

* The Acland Home is the Northgate House where the Librarian 
and, after his death, his widow, Mrs. Coxe, resided. 


at Newlands, near Keswick, in 1874. ^ Of the afternoon 
rambles it is said : — 

" Wordsworth was, it must be confessed, a somewhat 
aggravating companion on a long expedition. For the first 
hour or so he hung back, as a rule, rather behind the others, 
crawled slowly up-hill, complained that he didn't feel up to 
a long walk just then, and generally gave one the impression 
that he would never attain the goal. This mood lasted until 
the summit of the first considerable eminence was reached 
and other people were getting rather blown. Then on the 
edge of the descent into the next valley his whole demeanour 
changed. He suddenly seemed to wake up, ceased to sigh, and 
without waiting for anybody started at full speed down the 
slope. No matter what sort of going it might be, boulders, 
bracken, heather, screes, rocks, and streams, his long legs 
bounded over them, his arms waved wildly, and he never 
stopped his headlong course till he reached the bottom. Why 
he didn't break his neck we never could understand. It 
was, indeed, an article of faith with us that he had no feeling 
in his legs. Moreover, the absurdity of the proceeding was 
apt to deprive his companions of aU power to control their own 
legs, and they ended, as often as not, in a headlong plunge into 
bracken or over a boulder, in helpless and inextinguishable 

But he furnished an abundance of intentional, as well 
as unintentional, amusement, and took care that the 
hours of work were kept sacred, while his tact and good- 
humour easily overcame the minor difficulties that arise 
on such occasions. 

He had a keen and quick sense of incongruity in things 
great and small, and his humour consisted in giving it 
a pointed expression, sometimes sardonic yet never 
cynical. "It is wise to speak to freshmen in their first 
term, before they have learned to know us and to 

1 From the Rev. E. H. Goddard, B.N.C., now Rector of Clyffe 
Pypard, Wilts. 


despise us," was a characteristic utterance.^ He was also 
to the end of his life addicted to plays upon language, 
often laborious enough, of the kind that was more 
practised and admired in the days of Mansel than it is 
now. It has to be confessed that his unconscious quaint- 
ness, of which numerous stories are current in Oxford, 
did not always add to his impressiveness. Still, these 
lighter qualities reinforced the impression made by his 
solid gifts, and did nothing to weaken the expectation, 
current among his friends and pupils from an early date, 
that he would rise to high office in the Church. 

A College tutor without a fellowship was rare in the 
Oxford of 1870. There were not more than a dozen men 
who were giving their whole time to College, as opposed 
to University, work on such terms. The position was 
regarded as abnormal, and had the obvious incon- 
venience that the holder had no voice in College business, 
and that his suggestions might be rejected by the vote 
of non-resident Fellows, or Fellows taking no part in the 
work of the College. But though John Wordsworth 
felt this disability he was thoroughly loyal to Brasenose, 
declining more than one offer made to him of work 
elsewhere ; ^ and it is clear that he was not made unplea- 
santly conscious of his dependent position. There were 
instances where tutors without fellowships were spoken 
of as " College servants." At Brasenose men were more 

Though Wordsworth had his full share of Oxford 
work, he had also his share in Church interests outside. 
In 1870 his father made him an examining chaplain, 

' A reminiscence of Dr. H. S. Holland, Commonwealth, 191 1, p. 271. 

^ Soon after his marriage he was offered a tutorship at Keble ; 
he was also offered the headship of a projected " College Hall," to be 
founded on Church lines at Manchester in connection with Owens 
College. There is more than one indication that his father wished to 
see him settled in a Lincolnshire parish. 


a duty which he shared with Benson, and collated him 
to the prebend of Leighton Ecclesia in Lincoln Cathedral. 
John Wordsworth naturally became touched with the 
same enthusiasm as his brother prebendary Benson, and 
took his honorary duties at Lincoln very seriously. At 
Oxford also he did his best for the Church, as he under- 
stood its interests. He strove to draw together men of like 
mind, and he has preserved from this date a " list of 
junior fellows who care for religious and collegiate educa- 
tion, and who ought to be made to realize the conditions 
under which it is possible." The list is remarkable for 
some names that it contains, and some that it omits ; 
and a certain change in the connotation of words is shown 
by the use of " clerically minded " as a laudatory term. 
But if alliances were hearty, opposition was keen and 
became necessarily personal. Among the leaders of 
thought that regarded itself as advanced was Mr. Walter 
Pater of Brasenose, who printed certain philosophical 
remarks in the first edition of his chief work which excited 
Wordsworth to reproof. He wrote as follows ^ : — 

" You will, I think, hardly be surprised at my writing to 
you in reference to a subject which has been much in my 
thoughts of late. I mean your book of studies in the History 
of the Renaissance. No one can admire more than I do the 
beauty of style and the felicity of thought by which it is 
distinguished, but I must add that no one can be more grieved 
than I am at the conclusions at which you represent yourself 
as having arrived. I owe so much to you in times past, and 
have so much to thank you for as a colleague more recently, 
that I am very much pained in making this avowal. But after 
a perusal of the book I cannot disguise from myself that the 
concluding pages adequately sum up the philosophy of the 
whole ; and that that philosophy is an assertion, that no 
fixed principles either of religion or morality can be regarded 
as certain, that the only thing worth living for is momentary 

1 17th March, 1873. 


enjoyment [of course of a high and subtle kind] and that 
probably or certainly the soul dissolves at death into elements 
which are destined never to reunite. I beUeve you will 
acknowledge that this is a fair statement of your position. 
If it is not, I shall be only too happy to be disabused of my 
misconceptions. I am aware that the concluding pages are, 
with small exceptions, taken from a review of Morris's poems 
published in 1868 in the Westminster Review. But that article 
was anonymous, whereas this appears under your own name 
as a Fellow of Brasenose and as the mature result of your 
studies in an important period of history. If you had not 
reprinted it with your name no one would, I presume, have 
had a right to remonstrate with you on the subject, but now 
the case appears to be different ; and I should be faithless 
to myself and to the beliefs which I hold, if in the position in 
which I find myself as tutor next in standing to yourself I 
were to let your book pass without a word. My object in 
writing is not to attempt argument on these conclusions, 
nor simply to let you know the pain they have caused me and 
I know also many others. Could you indeed have known the 
dangers into which you were likely to lead minds weaker than 
your own, you would, I believe, have paused. Could you have 
known the grief your words would be to many of your 
Oxford contemporaries you might even have found no ignoble 
pleasure in refraining from uttering them. But you may have 
already weighed these considerations and have set them 
aside, and when they are pressed upon you you may take your 
stand on your right under the University Tests Act to teach 
and publish whatever you please. I must then, however un- 
willingly, accept the same ground. The difference of opinion 
which you must be well aware has for some time existed 
between us must, I fear, become pubhc and avowed, and it 
may be my duty to oppose you, I hope always within the limits 
of courtesy and moderation, yet openly and without reserve. 
It is a painful result to arrive at, but one which I hope you 
will not resent as unfair. At any rate, before it goes any 
further, I think it right to let you know my feeling and to ask 
if you have any reply to make to my letter. On one practical 
point perhaps you will allow me to ask a favour. Would 
you object to give up to myself or to the other tutors (if they 


will take it) your share in the Divinity Examination in 
Collections ? This is probably the last time in which the old 
system will be in force, and it would be, I confess, a relief 
to my mind if you would consent to do so." 

It must be added that in his next edition Pater 
removed much that had offended his colleague. 

If Oxford was a place of warfare, which might be 
illustrated by other incidents than this, John Words- 
worth was also drawn into the wider controversies of 
the Continent. They had been among the chief interests 
of his father, who was always ready, as his Miscellanies 
show, to protest against Roman peculiarities of belief 
and observance. Many Englishmen who had not been 
so ready as Dr. Christopher Wordsworth to proclaim their 
repugnance were stimulated by the Vatican Council 
to open hostility. Liddon, for instance, became an 
active sympathiser with the Old Catholic movement, 
for which its English friends anticipated a numerical 
importance that it has failed to attain. The Old Catholics 
and their allies were to be one of John Wordsworth's 
interests throughout his life. He first came in contact 
with them during a prolonged journey through Southern 
Germany and Austria in the Long Vacation of 1871. As 
yet it seemed doubtful whether the mass of the German 
Catholics would submit to Rome, as their Bishops (however 
unwillingly) had done, or would for conscience' sake share 
the excommunication of Dollinger, who had been excluded 
from his Church four months before Wordsworth wrote, 
in August, that he was trying to discover — 

" what is going on in the minds of the leaders of thought 
among German Catholics. They are, in fact, our brethren 
by race and temperament, though in many circumstances 
of education and present temper different from us. A national 
Cathohc Church in Germany in communion with the English 
Church, if such a vision were possible, might by its moral and 


intellectual strength almost dictate terms for the reunion oi 
Christendom. Probably it is impossible, but the vaguest 
chance of it is something to make the heart leap ; and it is 
a great thing to think that the first Diocesan Synod held in 
England for nearly two hundred years has done its part towards 
such an end by empowering the Bishop to address a letter 
expressing sympathy with the movement." 

The journey, made in company with Mr. Coxe, who 
had access to every library, was a valuable part of Words- 
worth's education as a palaeographer. But Mr. Coxe 
taught other lessons than the dating of manuscripts. 
He shared the Bishop of Lincoln's prejudice against 
Rome, as did Benson, ^ and these three influences en- 
couraged John Wordsworth's repugnance, and his 
sympathy with all who, from disinterested motives, 
detached themselves from that communion. Such separa- 
tion awakened in him an active theoretical interest in 
the constitution of the Christian society as well as in 
the problem's of ecclesiastical government and the possi- 
bilities of reunion. Just before this, in 1870, extra- 
ordinary enthusiasm had been excited among those who 
shared the churchmanship of the Wordsworths by the 
visit to England of the Greek Archbishop of Syra and 
Tenos with his suite. It was a new thing that an Oriental 
prelate should show his respect for the Church of England 
by attending in his pontifical attire at our services and 
taking part in the consecration of one of our Bishops. 
He was made an honorary D.D. of Oxford, and nowhere 
was he welcomed more heartily than at Riseholme, where 
he singled out John Wordsworth as the " deep thinker." 
And in the following year an experiment, from which 

^ One of Benson's letters has the characteristic heading :— 

9th December, 1869. 

Fest. Immac. Concept. ! ! ! 

fV To7s (TToixfiois and 

1800 years old. 


great things were expected, was made by the Bishop of 
Lincoln. Since 1683, when a diocesan synod, in the 
strict sense, had assembled in the diocese of St. Asaph, 
no gathering of the whole clergy of an English diocese 
under the presidence of its Bishop had been held till 
the synod of Lincoln, which met on the 20th September, 
1 871. Its principles and procedure were described at 
length by John Wordsworth in a letter to the Times of 
the 6th October, under the signature " Synodicus." 
More than once the Bishop of Salisbury was to follow the 
example of his father in the assembling of such synods. 
In spite of their impressiveness such gatherings have 
disappointed the high hopes of 1871, when they seemed 
to offer the prospect of a government for the Church, 
sound ecclesiastically and constitutionally. But the 
English experiment bore a certain resemblance to the 
graver venture that was being made in Germany ; and 
the assembly at Lincoln sent, through its president, a 
synodical letter of sympathy with the Old Catholics. 
It was natural that a party from Lincoln should take 
part in the first Old Catholic Conference, which assembled 
at Cologne in September, 1872. John Wordsworth had 
been visiting the English lakes in that summer in company 
with the Bensons. He was always taken for the senior 
of the party, and Benson " used to delight in addressing 
him as ' Bishop/ rather to the confusion of strangers." ^ 
Thence he travelled to accompany his friends to the Con- 
ference. With the Bishop of Lincoln and the members 
of his family there was, among others. Canon Meyrick, 
an able and attractive man who had been appointed at 
the same time as Benson prebendary of Lincoln and 
examining chaplain to the Bishop. Meyrick, in 1853, 
had been the chief founder of the Anglo-Continental 
Society, and was from that year to 1899 i^s honorary 

^ Mrs. Trebeck. 


secretary. This little organisation had for its purpose 
to proclaim the orthodoxy of Anglicanism, to point out 
to members of the Roman Communion the errors of their 
system and to give such guidance and support as might 
be advisable to seceders who should maintain what to 
Anglicans seem right practices and beliefs. It must be 
confessed that it has had little influence, and that Meyrick's 
usefulness was impaired by the excess of zeal which he 
threw into the cause. But in 1872 it seemed that there 
was ample scope for the Society in fostering the new 
movement, and the Words worths shared in its activities. 
At Cologne John Wordsworth first made himself master 
of the German language. 

" He was able to speak it with considerable accuracy," 
writes Mrs. Trebeck, " and this was the beginning of his lifelong 
interest in the Anglo-Continental Society. We made acquaint- 
ances with all the Old Catholic leaders. The Dean and Lady 
Augusta Stanley were with us and Mr. and Mrs. Edward 
Talbot. I remember my father sa5dng, ' If only they [the 
Old Catholics] are as wise and zealous in building up as they 
are energetic in pulling down, they will do well.' John's 
powers of organisation were much developed on this occasion, 
as he had to make all the arrangements for the meetings and 
services." ^ 

These foreign interests, it is well to bear in mind, 
were shared by such men as Liddon, who himself took 
part in the Bonn Conference of 1874. In fact, Liddon 's 
letters to Wordsworth show that he regarded the years 
between the proclamation of Infallibility, which made 
approach to Rome inconceivable, and the troubles of 
the Public Worship Regulation Act, as the most satis- 
factory within his experience of the English Church. His 
mind did not change in regard to the Old Catholics till 

^ This can only mean those in which the English-speaking visitors 
took part. 


he detected in them a certain declension from their 
original principles, and his approval of English effort on 
their behalf only ceased when it was extended to an 
Italian revolt with which he could not sympathise. 

Meanwhile, Wordsworth's task at Oxford was lightened 
by his College's accession in 1872 to a combined scheme of 
theological lecturing. From the Michaelmas term of 
that year his College lectures were moderate in number. '• 
His work for Liddon gave him sufficient opportunity 
for Biblical teaching, and his combined lectures were for 
the most part on historical subjects, in which he was keenly 
interested. Of his success as a teacher the best evidence 
is perhaps that fourteen of his pupils were placed in the 
second class in the Honour School of Theology. Two ^ 
attained to the first. One difficulty of the time was that 
of books for undergraduates. Wordsworth was the first 
to overcome it in Brasenose. One of his services, writes 
a pupil ^ — 

" was the starting of an Undergraduates' Library, because 
the College Library at that time (1873) was not open to the 
junior members of the College. As the beginning of a 
theological library for those who were reading for the Final 
School, he got some of the fellows to lend standard works of 
reference, which were placed in his lecture-room, and proved 
to be a great help to the men. Personally, I owe much to 
this arrangement." 

1 Between 1872 and his resignation in 1883 he gave lectures (for 
the most part courses of three terms) on Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., Socrates, 
Justin, Irenaeus, Origen, Contra Celsum, thg Doctrine of Grace with 
Select Treatises of St. Augustine, the Pastoral Epistles, the LXX of 
Exodus. Some of these courses were repeated. His classical lecturing 
for Honours was usually three hours a week, with tuition as well. 
B.N.C. had three members of its staff engaged in Moderations work. 
Honours and Pass. 

* C. L. Dundas, B.A., 1869, afterwards Fellow of Jesus and now 
Archdeacon of Dorset; G. G. Monck, B.A., 1872, now Vicar of Stoke- 
sub-Hamdon, Somerset, and Rural Dean. 

^ Canon Clayton. 


From what has been said of his interest in men, it 
will have been clear that he would not shrink from 
responsibility in giving advice to pupils or other friends, 
sometimes not younger than himself. The two following 
letters show this readiness to exercise authority, and dis- 
play by anticipation what may be called an episcopal 
mind. It need not be assumed that Wordsworth's 
diagnosis of the case was complete or altogether accurate. 
Written to a young clergyman restless in his first curacy, 
when Wordsworth was himself little more than thirty 
years of age, they sufficiently explain themselves. 

" It seems that you have a distinct call to stay at X for 
the present, if you can do so without knocking up. As to 
the last I don't quite know what to say. I should suppose it 
was a question rather mental than physical. . . . Can you 
throw aside your personal troubles and all but the most 
necessary thoughts about yourself, and just realise that you 
have to act as an instrument for a particular purpose for nine 
months or a year to come ? I am glad, very glad, to have 
your full confidence, and would not for the world throw it 
back ; but your letter just gives me the feeling that you are 
still too introspective, too scrupulous in searching into motives, 
open still in some degree to the danger of describing emotion 
for the sake of description rather than for practical good. 
The mind is like a piece of delicate clockwork, that a very 
little dust will disarrange. ... In telling me what you did 
I believe you fulfilled the apostolic precept sufficiently, and 
I believe you are not in a sufficiently clear frame of mind to 
do more at present. Confession (strictly so called) would, I 
think, in your case be a strong medicine too much upsetting 
to your system. Yet, I frankly own, if you were living in 
Oxford I should get you to talk to King, who would, I believe, 
give you that sort of quieting mental tonic which you seem to 
want. But I would not distress myself further -n-epl to. oma-d), 
but rather seek to a deeper and clearer knowledge of God 
in the present. May He bring you to peace and rest, and 
help you to see your way clearly to serve Him best." 


" I should, I confess, feel sorry if you were to leave your 
Vicar under two years, but if you find the work too distracting, 
or if you are not strong enough for it, or if you want to earn a 
larger income, you would, I suppose, be quite justified in leaving 
at the end of one, or as soon as he could get another curate, 
and you another position. But if the difficulty (if there is 
one) is only one that can be got over with patience, and at 
the sacrifice of tastes and habits not absolutely vital, there 
seems to be much to be said for stajdng. It must be good (I 
am sure it would have done myself good) to learn to under- 
stand the difficulties of quite simple people and to stretch 
one's self to their measure. Perhaps it is equally good to be 
denied such accessories of parochial work as you might have 
elsewhere. I must confess I am afraid sometimes of our think- 
ing certain things necessary which are not necessary. Univer- 
sity men (such as I may still consider you) seem to have a work 
to do in keeping up the cohesion between Churchmen of 
different schools. I do not know whether this has any point 
in the present case." 

In 1874, while Wordsworth was serving as Proctor, 
an office in which his senior colleague, Mr. H. Salwey of 
Christ Church, remembers that he showed sound business 
capacity, there was held on the 9th October a Collatio 
cum Wesleyanis, at which the Bishop of Lincoln advanced 
considerations which were to guide his son's efforts 
thirty years later. The Bishop, ^ moved by the prevalence 
of Methodism in Lincolnshire, invited leaders of the 
Wesleyans to meet representative Churchmen in con- 
ference, to consider the possibility of reunion. The Con- 
ference was held on neutral ground, in the London house 
and under the presidency of one of his Quaker cousins, 
Mr. J. B. Braithwaite. John Wordsworth, as his father's 
chaplain, served as secretary ; the representatives on 
the one side were Dr. Benson, Mr. F. Meyrick, and the 
Bishop himself; on the other. Dr. Moulton, Dr. Osbom, 

1 See his Life, Chap. VIII., where a very brief account is given. 



Dr. Jobson, and Mr. W. Arthur. With these clergy sat 
Mr. J. G. Talbot, M.P., as a Churchman, and as lay 
Wesleyans, Mr. Alexander MacArthur, M.P., and Mr. 
T. Percival Bunting. The proceedings, carefully recorded 
by John Wordsworth, were not very satisfactory. The 
Bishop strove to keep to matters of principle ; the other 
side was apt to wander off to the title of " Reverend," 
the use of which on the tombstone of a Wesleyan minister 
was then under litigation, and to the demand for the 
opening of Anglican pulpits. Discursive and incon- 
clusive as the debate was, the Bishop did not believe 
that it had been held in vain ; and the suggestions which 
he brought forward were such as always seemed feasible 
to his son. He advanced the precedents of Archbishop 
Leighton and Bishop Simon Patrick, consecrated to the 
episcopate, though their commission to the ministry was 
such as Methodist ministers might be regarded as holding, 
and of Bishop Bramhall, in conditionally ordaining 
ministers of the Commonwealth period, with a saving 
clause lest their dignity be wounded. In 1874 the 
Wesleyan leaders, satisfied with their own position, would 
make no movement. For them " Ordination Problems," 
to use the title of one of Bishop John Wordsworth's 
latest volumes, had no existence. For the Wordsworths 
they were a topic of unceasing interest. 

Just at this time, on the 3rd August, 1874, the Public 
Worship Regulation Act became law. Strong Churchmen 
were incensed, and were anxious as to the measures which 
Archbishop Tait might take, now that he was armed with 
this new weapon. No evidence that the Wordsworths 
had taken part in the counsels of those who opposed 
the measure has come into my hands, ^ but the Bishop 
of Lincoln was invited to a meeting of leading Churchmen 

1 For his public utterances see Chap. VIII. of the Bishop of 
Lincoln's Life. 


summoned for the 15th October at Dr. Bright's lodging 
in Christ Church. He could not attend, and his son wrote 
on his behalf : ^ 

" My father thinks the situation very critical. He beheves 
the only way to avert a probable schism is to work upon the 
Archbishop of Canterbury by a deputation from important 
men of all sections of the High Church party, and to obtain 
■from him in writing some assurance of what he will do or not 
do. He represents the Archbishop as keeping down the other 
Bishops, or rather they have no strength to stand against 
him, and as having (as no doubt he has) great weight in Parlia- 
ment. But he thinks he is quite aHve to public opinion if 
brought directly to bear on himself. . . . This really seems 
a time when Churchmen in the University are called upon to 
have a policy, and if possible one of mediation." 

From this time onward John Wordsworth took his 
side in public with Pusey and Liddon, joining in the 
protest against the prosecutions under the recent Act, 
and being asked for counsel on critical matters, such as 
the troubles between the Bishop and the Church Missionary 
Society in Ceylon. In principle he agreed with the Bishop, 
but his advice was in favour of moderation in language 
and action. But if he acted with them, we must not 
assume a perfect inward agreement. It was his conserva- 
tive tendency that ranged him on their side, and perhaps 
the public, and even he himself, thought the unison more 
perfect than it was. 

" I don't think," writes Dr. Jayne, Bishop of Chester, who 
was then a tutor of Keble, " that John Wordsworth was ever 
much tinged with Tractarianism proper. He went, I should 
think, on his scholarly (classical and theological) way with 
a certain aloofness, though intimate with the Keble group," 

A Brasenose man, no longer a member of the English 
Church, who was a pupil of Wordsworth about 1870, 

^ To the Warden of Keble, from Riseholme, 22nd September. 1874. 


agrees with Bishop Jayne in regard to < his theological 
position. He contrasts the '■ old-fashioned Anglicans " 
of that day, among whom he ranks Wordsworth, with the 
more conspicuous groups at either extreme of Church- 

" John Wordsworth," he says, " stood out from the rest 
[of the tutors of Brasenose] as the students' friend, exempli- 
fying in his person the purest type of the orthodox, old- 
fashioned AngUcan Churchman, never parading religion or 
talking about it, but preaching it everywhere by his own 
modest actions and suggesting it as the source of aU his virtues. 
The old-fashioned Anglicans made much less outward fuss 
[than the rival schools] and carefully avoided singularities. 
Their endeavour tended towards taking the Prayer-book as 
it stood, turning the collects and psalms and daily lessons in 
it into a reality, and conforming their lives to a consistent, 
if unobtrusive, rectitude and kindliness of manner. Openly 
to discuss or even mention religion would have been an 
impertinence. ... A young man at Oxford, without any very 
fixed principles or religious ideals, was practically secure 
the moment a kind Providence drew him within the sphere 
of the Wordsworths' home. At the same time there is nothing 
extraordinary to record, nothing very tangible to lay hold of 
as distinctive. The method was so simple, and the life so 
uneventful ; successful perhaps because so free from eccentri- 
city or excitement. Religion was behind the scenes ; never 
obtruded or discussed, as it was in Evangelical or Ritualistic 
circles ; it was, however, powerfully suggested in the very 
sweetness and light of the whole atmosphere and by the gentle 
lives of its professors." 

The writer goes on to say that the first rift between 
himself and the tutor was caused by his silence in regard 
to his making a first confession to Dr. King at Christ 

" Was it not indeed," he asks, " a logical result of a three 
years' friendship, spent in such close alliance with a spirit 


so good, so beautiful and so true as theirs ? And yet reserve 
as to a confession to Dr. King seemed imperative in view of 
their attitude at that time on this most important question." ^ 

It may be only a coincidence, but this active partici- 
pation in the conflicts of Oxford, whether or no it were 
in complete interior sympathy with the leaders on the 
Church's side, was accompanied by a cessation of Words- 
worth's active intercourse with his Cambridge friends. 
Hitherto it had seemed his mission to interpret them to 
Oxford ; henceforth they apparently sink below his 
horizon, with the exception of Benson, who was now 
settled at Lincoln. On Christmas Eve, 1872, he had 
written to the Warden of Keble, rejoicing in the coming 
of " our new Chancellor " to Lincoln. 

" It will be a most excellent thing for my father to have 
him on the spot ; and though he gives up a much larger income 
I think in the end it will be a good step for him. It is a great 
thing to stop after twenty years of incessant schoolmastering 
toil with such a very fresh spirit and in the midst of success ; 
and he has, you know, a great natural devotion to Cathedral 
work and particularly to work at Lincoln, so that I think he 

1 This gentleman tells how his tutor hurried from Scotland to 
Scarborough to arrest, if possible, his entrance into the Roman Church. 
This was some years after he had taken his degree. " Again, nothing 
was directly said, though much was suggested. The fact of the long 
journey undertaken at so much cost and trouble, the pathetic sadness, 
making quite apparent that afEection was being strained, if not broken 
outright, the very abstention from reproach or discussion, were the 
more appealing. Indeed, all this did more than many words to make 
the meeting a powerful protest and a dif&cult argument to contradict. 
. . . Passing in our walk the open door of the old church which crowns 
the hill near the castle above the harbour, Mr. Wordsworth and his 
errant disciple entered, as if led by a common instinct, and then, without 
controversy or blame, the master said, ' Let us kneel down together 
for the last time and pray for guidance, that neither of us may ever do 
aught but the Divine will or ever believe a lie.' . . . No more was 
said, and soon after we parted for very different spheres of real work." 
I wish I had space for more of these reminiscences of an acute and 
sympathetic observer. 


will have a great field before him. Of course one looks to 
all sorts of future possibilities." 

It was John Wordsworth who was charged, in 1876, 
to convey to Benson the offer of the bishopric of Calcutta, 
as is recorded in the Archbishop's Life. ^ 

In 1876 and 1877 he held the almost honorary post 
of Grinfield Lecturer on the Septuagint. He had stood 
for the ofhce but had withdrawn his candidature two 
years before, deeming that it was incompatible with 
the labours of the proctorship. This news had drawn 
a remonstrance and a characteristic disquisition from 
Dr. Pusey, who addressed Wordsworth through Liddon. 
The letter was evidently written in haste. 

" Feb. 26, 1874. 

" My dearest L., 

" I should be very glad to hear of Wordsworth's 
Proctorate but for what you say about his feelings about the 
Grinfield Lectureship. 

" The LXX Lectureship ought to bear on the N.T. It was 
to form the language of the LXX that God so combined the 
far-seeing ambition of Alexander, which saw the value of 
the site of Alexandria, and the rebellion of the Jews in going 
down to Egypt, and so wonderfully unites the accuracy of 
the Greek language and the depth of the Hebrew to form the 
language of His last revelation of Himself. It is for this 
[? relation] of the language of the LXX to the Greek of the N.T. 
that the study of the LXX is mainly valuable. Now and then the 
LXX gives valuable testimony as to the meaning of a Hebrew 
word in their times, as in the rendering of Trap6evo<; in Isaiah 
or Siacf)6opd in Ps. xvi. But after all this is only an argumentum 
ad hominem, and lies on the surface. In the main we know 
more Hebrew than the LXX. Nor are the LXX mostly so good 
as Aquila or Symmachus, except where anti-doctrinal pre- 
judices influence these last. I think, then, that Wordsworth's 
eminent Greek scholarship would be of far more avail than 
any Hebrew. Hebrew scholarship mostly avails to account 

1 Vol. I.. 398. 


for the LXX rendering and very often to explain the source 
of their mistakes. The school which would correct the Hebrew 
text by aid of the LXX was a mistaken one and has passed 
away, though I should not be surprised if it were revived by 
those who would innovate in everything. Cui bono to com- 
ment on the blunders of ^ ? I earnestly hope that W. 
will not resign his candidature. I heard the V.C. say . . . 
mentioning names which I must not repeat. Do urge him 
not to resign his candidature. It might put us in a great 

" Your very affectionate 

"E. B. PUSEY." 

As Grinfield lecturer Wordsworth issued in June, 
1877, a four-paged List of Selected Books to ilhistyate 
the Alexandrian Dialect, as a guide to his audience. 
It is noteworthy in that half the volumes included are 
collections of inscriptions or of papyri. In his attention 
to the latter he anticipated a fruitful line of modern 

A more important undertaking was that of acting 
as deputy to the Regius Professor of Divinity, Dr. J. B. 
Mozley, who fell into ill-health in the autumn of 1875, 
and till his death on the 4th January, 1878, was unable 
to resume his lectures. Mozley had returned to Oxford 
as Regius Professor in 1871. It does not appear how 
soon Wordsworth attached himself to him, but it was he 
who first conceived the idea of the famous graduate 
class. ^ 

" In the autumn of 1873," Wordsworth writes, " Dr. 
Mozley came to meet a party at dinner in my rooms in College 
— invited for the purpose — and after dinner we asked him to 
give us some lectures in the ensuing term. This he did on 
Mondays at 4, giving six or seven in the Lent term 1874, 

^ A blank in the letter. 

^ The list of members is in The Letters of J. B. Mozley, p. 343. 


and this same number in Michaelmas term 1874, and Lent 
term 1875. The two Summer terms of 1874 and 1875 were 
similarly occupied with essays contributed by members of the 
class in turn. Amongst others Bishop Mylne's article on 
Theodore of Mopsuestia, published in the first volume of the 
Church Quarterly Review, was read on two Mondays. Bishop 
Copleston, I believe, and Messrs. S. J. Fremantle, Holland, 
and myself also read, as well as others." ^ 

When Mozley's health broke down, it was natural 
that he should turn to Wordsworth for assistance. " James 
testifies to the fixity of purpose in Mr. Wordsworth ; 
inexorable in keeping up the meetings through all the 
distractions of this term," runs a family letter cited by 
Miss Mozley.2 At first the task assigned was the modest 
one of reading lectures composed by the Professor. 
But as the gravity of his case became more clear it was 
seen that a deputy must be appointed, and Wordsworth 
pressed Liddon to use his influence with Mozley for the 
nomination of Edwin Palmer, his successful rival in the 
contest for the professorship of Latin. Mozley, however, 
preferred Wordsworth, who delivered three courses in 
this new capacity, surrendering, as has been said, his 
similar work for Liddon. At first he lectured for a term 
on a familiar topic, the ministry of our Lord after the 
death of John the Baptist. Then, as the disciple and 
representative of Mozley, he launched upon more 
adventurous courses, lecturing upon " The Being and 
Nature of God and the future life as revealed in natural 
religion," and " The idea and method of revelation, or 
truth, mercy, and peace, as manifested in the Kingdom of 
God." These two courses were to be the germ of Words- 
worth's Bampton Lectures. 

Mozley's selection of his deputy had been the strongest 

1 To Miss Mozley, nth February, 1878. 
^ Letters of J. B. Mozley, p. 342. 


testimony that distinguished man could bear to Words- 
worth's fitness for the Regius Professorship. There were 
many in Oxford of the same opinion, and the post would 
have been thoroughly congenial to Wordsworth. But it 
was a time of bitterness. Wordsworth was an ally of 
Liddon, who was making England ring with his denun- 
ciation of the Turks. Wordsworth himself had recently 
used strong words in St. Mary's : " We see the sorrows 
of whole provinces of Europe and Asia, under Ottoman 
tyranny." 1 It was thought that the Minister, in his 
ecclesiastical and University appointments, was not 
uninfluenced by considerations of political friendship or 
hostility. Wordsworth was passed over, and continued 
his College work, to which Liddon again added his 
assistant lecturership. In the Memorial Sermon which 
he preached in Lincoln Cathedral on Palm Sunday, 1885, 
after the funeral of the Bishop, John Wordsworth mentions 
as the greatest personal disappointment of his father's 
life his failure to obtain the Regius Professorship of 
Divinity at Cambridge. The same words might have 
been spoken of the son. 

Some interest attaches to the procedure of the last 
generation, and it seems worth while to give the letter 
in which Wordsworth informed Mr. Ince of Exeter College, 
whom Lord Beaconsfield had nominated, of the methods 
he had adopted. 2 

" I think it right to tell you the changes I introduced into 
the system of lecturing which was in vogue,^ in case you 
may think it wise to continue them. They were principally 

" I. Instead of giving the lectures six days a week for a 
fortnight or so, I gave them three days a week for a month, 

1 University Sermons, p. 35, preached 12th November, 1876. 

2 8th May, 1878. 

' The lectures were given in the Latin Chapel of the Cathedral. 


and I have every reason to believe that this change suited 
the men's convenience as much as it did that of the lecturer. 

" 2. I introduced the custom of using a prayer (after the 
lecture) sometimes one of Bishop Pearson's, in Latin or 
English, sometimes one of Thomas Aquinas, sometimes one 
of Charles Marriott's. I beheve that as so many of the men 
go to almost no other theological lectures before they are 
ordained, it is a great opportunity for impressing them, and so 
I used this and other means to make them feel like real candi- 
dates for ordination, and constantly addressed them as such. 

"3. For the last year, when I was reading my own lectures, 
I gave a different course each term, thinking it bad for the 
men to suppose that the lecture was chiefly a formahty to be 
gone through. My idea was to have a course which would 
take two years to deUver, and cover in a rough way the whole 
field of dogmatic theology, in the hope that some men at least 
would attend several courses. In this last I had some partial 

" I know that this scheme would have taxed my own powers 
severely, and it might be too much for you if you are still in 
weak health." 

In this same year, 1878, Wordsworth published a 
little volume of University Sermons, ^ seven in number. 
They had been preached at St. Mary's (with the exception 
of one which he had been unable to deliver there, and 
so had used in Lincoln Cathedral) in his turn as Select 
Preacher, an office which he held from 1875 to 1877.2 
The sermons are very practical, impressing such points 
as the power of innocence and the duty of maintaining 
it, the religious doubts of the time, the responsibility of 
Oxford tutors towards their pupils, and the importance 
of missionary work. It is remembered that on one 
occasion he was so regardless of custom as to insert 
the name of St. Stephen's House in the Bidding Prayer 

1 Oxford and London, Parkers. Preface dated 20th November, 1878. 

2 He was Whitehall Preacher, " much against the grain," in 1879, 
and Select Preacher at Oxford again 1888-90. 


before his sermon. But we must return to his interest 
in missions when we come to the Bampton Lectures 
of 1881. The Sermons, except for a certain naive 
ingenuit}^ in deducing his moral, were such as Words- 
worth delivered throughout his life ; but in later days 
he would not have cited Petavius De Angelis as an autho- 
rity to be accepted without criticism. Canon Clayton 
singles out two of the sermons, " The First Miracle and 
the First Temptation," and " The last sixteen verses of 
St. Mark," ^ as deserving more attention than they have 

" There was," he says, " a clearness and vigour and an 
incisiveness about J. Wordsworth's sermons which was very 
welcome to the hearers. I can remember an excellent sermon 
of his on the death of Principal Cradock in Brasenose College 
Chapel which was very striking, for it showed how ' the old 
chief,' as we called him, corresponded with the account of 
' the wisdom which is from above ' in St. James iii. 17, 18." 

With the same practical purpose he printed for his 
pupils. Prayers for Use in College, in 1879. This little 
pamphlet of eleven pages was replaced in 1883 by a fuller 
work, with the same name, containing not only a valuable 
collection of prayers, but also thoughtful counsel for 
the religious life of undergraduates. ^ Of this a second 
edition, with some new matter, was published in 1890,^ 
in the hope " that it may be useful to some young men 
outside the Universities, as well as to those for whom it 
was first intended." Such manuals must have their day, 
but these sixty-four pages speak with an authority and a 
freshness that might have saved them from oblivion. They 
are still used and valued by some of the older generation. 

^ The traditional text is defended. 
* Published by Parkers, Oxford. 

' Parkers, Oxford : reprinted and published by Longmans, 
London, 1893. 



John Wordsworth, after he had determined to abandon 
pure classics, did not at once decide on his future work. 
He still from time to time published articles on Latin 
or Anglo-Saxon inscriptions, and in his vacations made 
careful notes and drawings of objects of antiquity,^ 
such as brasses and details of architecture. In 1876 he 
formed his first plan of historical theology. His magnum 
opus was to be a fully annotated edition of the great work 
of Origen, the Contra Celsum. It would have given ample 
scope for his varied erudition, and would have made a 
more general appeal than his technical labours upon 
the Latin Vulgate of the New Testament. The Contra 
Celsum was also one of the subjects on which he lectured 
for the School of Theology, and he had accumulated much 
material that would serve for the purpose of an edition. 
It does not appear why he forsook this task, nor is there 
any evidence that he actually began to compose his edition 
of the Contra Celsum. 

We do not know what first led him to prefer the Latin 

1 He was capable of an ingenuity equal to his father's. An obscure 
and imperfect inscription at York ends, according to Hiibner, Arimanio 
[posuit]. Wordsworth satisfied himself that the last letter was v, 
not o, and conjectured, marmoreu[m posuit], after Horace, Carm. 
iv. I, 20, te . . . ponet marmoream sub trabe citrea. But this he did not 


Vulgate as the chief scholarly interest of his life. It 
may have occurred to himself as a fruitful study ; it may 
have been suggested to him, perhaps by Westcott. 
The subject was in his mind in 1877, at first in the form 
of an edition of Jerome's text of the whole Latin Bible. 
On the 25th March, 1878, he took the definite step of 
offering to the Clarendon Press, through Professor 
Bartholomew Price, its secretary, an edition of the New 
Testament. As yet he had made no preparations, and 
did not even know what were the materials on which he 
would have to work. For in his next letter, after an 
encouraging reply from the Press, he says that he has 
his father's approval — he is writing from Riseholme, on 
Easter Monday, 1878 — and will ask the advice of Westcott 
and of Ronsch ; ^ he then continues : "I will look into 
Vercellone when I get back, and see what MSS. there are." 
He was already a competent palaeographer and a master 
of the Latin language ; it is noteworthy that even as an 
undergraduate he had collected forms and idioms of 
decadent Latinity as well as those of the pre-classical 
period. But he needed, for his special purpose, not 
only to collect material, but to create his method of 
working. As yet the English Universities provided no 
such instruction. Our present difficulty is that our 
students often attain to technical dexterity without 
acquiring the mass of knowledge which is needed if their 
skill is to be profitably employed. Thirty-five years ago 
there was at least as much erudition in Oxford as to-day, 
but few scholars had the resolution, or perhaps the oppor- 
tunity, to train themselves in the systematic use of the 
knowledge they had acquired. Wordsworth, then, had 
the double task of collecting his material and of mastering 

1 Hermann Ronsch, of Lobenstein, was the author of the excellent 
study of the language of the Latin Bible, Itala und Vulgaia, of which the 
first edition appeared in 1868, the second in 1875. 


his method, and he wisely abstained from premature 
publicity. Yet tidings got abroad : — 

" I am talking about editing the New Testament Vulgate 
(from MSB., of course)," he wrote to his brother,^ " but nothing 
is settled about it, so a paragraph in the papers which some 
tiresome person has put in is quite premature. Do you know 
of any one at Cambridge who has taken up this Hue at all ? 
G. WiUiams began, but I beheve did not go very far. Of 
course I must work with Bentley's collations." 

The authorities of the Press were, in fact, cautious. 
They gave no definite commission to Wordsworth, and 
no formal agreement for the publication of the work was 
executed till 1890. He was disappointed with the vague- 
ness of their sanction, but he had no occasion to complain 
of their failure to support him. In November, 1878, 
he made his first application for the payment of travelling 
expenses to be incurred in Italy during the Christmas 
vacation ; in the following March he made his first report 
to the Press of the results he had attained. From this 
time onwards for the next seven years sums were regularly 
voted for the travelling expenses of Wordsworth and his 
assistants, for the labour of collation in several countries 
of foreign scholars, and for the purchase of books and 
manuscript material. Of the last class the most important 
acquisition was that of Tischendorf's Latin collections, 
made through his literary executor. Dr. Caspar Ren^ 
Gregory, of Leipzig.2 But it was not till November, 1882, 
that Wordsworth published a detailed prospectus of 
The Oxford Critical Edition of the Vulgate New Testament. 

'^ 20th August, 1878. 

* Dr. Gregory lectured for Wordsworth ist May, 1883, on " The 
way to use and describe Greek MSS., especially of the New Testament ; 
illustrated by MSS. in the Bodleian." He was Wordsworth's guest in 
B.N.C., and has contributed an appreciative sketch of his career to 
the 1913 supplement of the Reakncyclopadie fur Theologie imd Kirche. 


Meanwhile, the routine of his life was interrupted 
by an unsuccessful candidature for the post of Public 
Orator, which his father had held at Cambridge. It was 
vacant by the death of T, F. Dallin of Queen's, and Words- 
worth was nominated by the Principal of Brasenose, the 
Warden of New College, and H. Nettleship, Professor of 
Latin. He withdrew in a week, as he had " not received 
sufficient support to justify him in putting his friends 
to the trouble of a journey to Oxford," and Mr. W. W. 
Merry, now Rector of Lincoln, was elected. It was a 
more serious event that he was invited by the Heads of 
Houses in 1880 to deliver the Bampton Lectures of the 
following year. He had applied for the honour in 1879, 
submitting the same scheme as was approved a year later, 
but Edwin Hatch was preferred. Of Hatch's memorable 
course, which has deeply influenced thought on the 
history of the Church, Wordsworth wrote with strong 
disapproval while it was being delivered ; but Hatch's 
suggestions came in time to have weight with him, as 
with all other serious students. An unexpected and 
unusual honour was paid when the electors, passing over 
the candidates whose names were before them, chose 
Wordsworth, who had not renewed his application. 

The title of his course was, " The One Religion ; 
Truth, Holiness, and Peace desired by the Nations, and 
revealed by Jesus Christ." It was, as he said in his 
preface : — 

" a contribution to the comparative study of religion from a 
Christian point of view. ... I offer it more particularly 
to those who have an interest or a share in foreign missions, 
from association with whom I have derived constant help 
and encouragement, for which I should wish in some degree to 
make a return. It is not too much to say, that without the 
Oxford Missionary Association of Graduates, of which Dr. 
Mozley was the first President, and without the free use of its 


library and the stimulus of frequent intercourse with foreign 
missionaries, of which it has been the centre, this book would 
never have been written." 

The lectures, then, had a definitely missionary purpose. 
Among the Churchmen of Oxford the missionary interest 
was very keen. The martyrdom of Bishop Patteson 
had taken place on the i6th December, 1871 ; on the 20th 
December, 1872, was held the first general Day of Inter- 
cession for foreign missions, which had remarkable 
results. Among them was the foundation in 1874 of 
the Oxford Society mentioned above, which was followed 
by the establishment of St. Stephen's House, primarily 
for the training of graduates for missionary work. No 
one was more actively interested in the cause than John 
Wordsworth, though there is no evidence that it occurred 
to himself, or was suggested to him by others, that he 
should undertake work abroad. As early as 1873 he had 
founded a College Missionary Society, which, says Canon 
Clayton — 

" did excellent work by meetings in the College hall and inter- 
cessions in the chapel, a daily prayer to be used by the members 
and a subscription according to their means to one of the great 
Societies.^ . . . The Missionary Library was J. Wordsworth's 
delight. It belonged to the Graduates' Missionary Associa- 
tion ; it was formerly housed in a room at the top of High 
Street, afterwards moved to St. Mary's Parish Room, and now 
is partially dissolved and taken elsewhere. J. Wordsworth 
was librarian for many years." 

In 1876 he was making elaborate notes concerning 
the religious thoughts and practices of primitive peoples, 
such as the Eskimo, but it does not appear whether he 
was already planning a course of Bampton Lectures. 

1 He insisted that the members must be communicants, and pressed 
upon them that they ought to join in the corporate communions of 
the College Society. 


He followed the spirit of the time when his studies turned ^ 
as they had already done in his lectures for Mozley, to 
the topics which Max Miiller had popularised. He had 
attended Max Miiller 's lectures on the history of religion 
while still an undergraduate. That famous teacher had 
sketched a development of religious ideas which later 
research has rejected, and had cast a glamour over the 
comparative study of religions which is now faded. But 
in 1880 the freshness remained and doubt had not arisen. 
It was an honourable challenge that Wordsworth uttered 
when he resolved to take the wisdom of the day and turn 
it to orthodox account, employing both its methods and 
its treasury, the " Sacred Books of the East," for his 
own purposes. 

" It is rather a critical undertaking," he writes to his 
brother,^ " and one for which I was not prepared this year, 
but I must take it as a great compliment that I was elected 
without having renewed my candidature. ... I shall be 
glad to know of any books that you may come across treating 
of the ideal side of heathenism. I want to put this in the 
best light and then to show its unsatisfactoriness. This was 
the subject of a course of lectures which I gave for Dr. Mozley 
in 1878, just after his death, so that I have the materials 
at hand ; but I must recast them in rather a different form." 

But Wordsworth was not to give the whole of his 
spare time to the composition of his Bampton Lectures. 
He was moved by public utterances of the time to plunge 
into the controversy concerning the future constitution 
of the Oxford Colleges. His father, as Bishop of Lincoln, 
was affected by the proposed abolition of episcopal 
visitors, and was making a vigorous, and in the long run 
successful, attempt to maintain certain special rights in 
Lincoln College. On general as well as personal grounds 

1 7th May, 1880. 


John Wordsworth was a champion of the same cause. 
He was tempted into print by a speech dehvered in 
Parhament on the gth July, 1880, by a typical Whig 
of that generation, Mr. C. S. Roundell. Mr. Roundell had 
been a pupil of Christopher Wordsworth at Harrow and 
a Fellow of Merton ; he represented the Lincolnshire 
constituency of Grantham. He was moving that the 
House " deems it inexpedient that, save in the case of 
the Deanery of Christ Church, any clerical restriction 
shall remain or be attached to any headship or fellowship 
in any College of the Universities of Oxford and Cam- 
bridge," and he was supported by a petition from a 
large number of the most distinguished residents in 
Oxford, many of them in Holy Orders and some of them 
men with whom Wordsworth would generally have been 
in the closest sympathy. It might have been thought 
that conciliatory language would have been in place 
when a project, so supported, was being advocated ; and 
good-humour would have been graceful in the champions 
of a cause which was certain, on the main issues, to be 
triumpnant. But the acrid eloquence to which Matthew 
Arnold has given an unenviable immortality was then in 
fashion, and Mr. Roundell's manner of stating his case 
came near to insolence. It so happened that about 
the same time Mr. James Bryce, then Regius Professor 
of Civil Law and more recently our distinguished Ambas- 
sador to the United States, spoke at " a breakfast of 
the friends of Religious Liberty." He won applause by 
saying, concerning the proposed retention of clerical 
fellowships in three Colleges : — 

" Now this is felt by the Liberal Party, and by those 
whom we ought more particularly to pity, the Liberal members 
of those Colleges, who are going to be handed over, bound 
hand and foot, to the mercies of a clerical majority, to be a 
grievous wrong." 


This with some other utterances of Mr. Bryce, and the 
general tone of Mr. Roundell, provoked Wordsworth to 
address a printed letter, entitled " The Church and the 
Universities," to the latter gentleman. In it he argued 
especially against three propositions, the abolition of 
clerical restrictions upon fellowships or headships, the 
introduction of " lay " ^ teaching of theology, and the 
substitution of lay for episcopal visitors. The arguments 
are those of the day, and need not be recapitulated ; they 
were seized upon and used for a vigorous sermon in 
St. Mary's by Dean Burgon a fortnight after their publi- 
cation. ^ Wordsworth was not entirely pleased at being 
exploited by so inconsiderate a champion of his cause. 

The matter might have ended here, had not two brisk 
controversies arisen. Mr. Bryce was well within his 
rights when he protested against " mercies " being 
expanded by Wordsworth into " tender mercies " in 
the passage cited above ; he also denied that certain 
sentiments attributed to him in a report of his speech 
by the Nonconformist newspaper, and repeated in the 
Guardian, were his. Wordsworth issued a second edition 
of his pamphlet with the necessary corrections. He 
had also chosen Exeter as an example of a College whose 
founder's purpose was being thwarted by the new legis- 
lation, and this brought Mr. Ingram Bywater, afterwards 
Regius Professor of Greek, into the dispute. It is clear 
that much could be said on both sides, and that Exeter 
was not the strongest case that might have been chosen 
in proof of the clerical case. Perhaps Mr. Bywater's 
suggestion, in his printed reply, that Exeter was designed 
for a College of deacons by its second founder may be 

1 The inverted commas are Wordsworth's. 

* "The Disestablishment of Religion in Oxford, the Betrayal of a 
Sacred Trust : Words of Warning to the University." Preached on 
the 2ist November, 1880. 


set against Wordsworth's claim that it was a College of 
priests, and the battle be regarded as drawn. 

If Wordsworth's first essay in University politics, 
his Letter to the Warden of Keble, had excited no atten- 
tion, his second had a gratifying reception. It may be 
said to have made him a public man. Letters of gratitude 
poured in from allies and of courteous appreciation from 
adversaries. At Liddon's suggestion it was sent to Mr. 
Gladstone, who took it down with him to Ha warden; 
whether he found time to read it does not appear. Lord 
Salisbury sympathised with the author, but was not 
hopeful ^ : — 

" I convinced myself during the passage of the University 
Bill through Parliament that clerical fellowships had to struggle 
with too strong a prejudice to be effectively maintained for 
very long. It is a prejudice of the same kind as that which is 
producing such startling results in France, and is not amenable 
to any kind of argument. I regret to say that it is not wholly 
confined to the Liberal side of the House." 

Wordsworth was to be the first Bishop recommended 
to the Crown by Lord Salisbury as Prime Minister. 

It was quickly evident that protests were unavailing, 
and the best had to be made of the new position. To a 
clerical colleague in Brasenose, some years his junior, 
who had taken the opposite side,^ Wordsworth wrote 
the following letter a year after his pamphlet was pub- 
lished : — 

" I wish you could have some of the experience which is 
necessarily forced upon me as a Bishop's Chaplain — such 
for instance, as I have had during the last week. You 
would, I am sure, understand better my feeling as to Divinity 
lectures, the Missionary Association, etc., etc. Men come from 

1 1 8th November, 1880. 

* The Rev. C. A. Whittuck ; dated Riseholme, 21st December, 


Oxford and Cambridge (and elsewhere) with the most rudi- 
mentary ideas as to work and the smallest amount of know- 
ledge, and one feels the terrible responsibility of sending them 
out into the world to take important places where they will 
have absolutely no time for reading, according to all accounts. 

" The College and the Commissioners have decided (and 
I am afraid the decision will be the law of the future) to destroy 
the character of Brasenose as a clerical society. We who are 
clergy have therefore a greater burden upon us to do the work 
which in old days would have fallen upon a number of shoulders 
besides ours. We must not feed ourselves (by special study, 
etc.) and neglect to feed the sheep with the rudiments of 
Christian knowledge, especially if they are candidates for Hol}^ 
Orders. We have so little of bearing the cross that surely we 
ought not to grumble if men are slow to hear us or dislike some 
of the forms in which our teaching is necessarily bound by 
rules which we individually have no power to alter. It is a 
cross (let us say) to lecture on Pass Divinity, but ought not 
one to be glad to bear it ? It is hard to preach plain sermons 
on old truths. Ought we not to try to do it ? " 

Before this letter was written his Bampton Lectures 
were delivered and published. The One Religion may 
be left to speak for itself. The book, which attained 
the distinction, not too common in the case of Bampton 
Lectures, of a second edition,^ was dedicated " to the 
memory of my friend and teacher, James Bowling Mozley, 
who has been constantly in my thoughts in writing these 
lectures." Mozley 's manner of thought is perceptible 
throughout, though the width of reading upon which the 
generalisations are based is Wordsworth's own. It is, 
indeed, scarcely the less extraordinary in that the Oriental 
learning was of necessity at second-hand. The author's 
knowledge of languages did not range eastward of the 
Hebrew and Syriac, the latter being an acquisition of 
after years ; this is the only volume of his to be largely 

1 First edition, Parkers, Oxford, 1881 ; second edition, 1887, 


based upon translations. It suffers not only from this 
disadvantage, but also from being an experiment in a 
novel line of research. Dr. Sanday ^ speaks of it as — 

" chiefly noticeable as an early appHcation of the new science 
of Comparative ReUgion. Its attraction for the lecturer 
probably lay in the scope which it gave for his remarkable 
power of rapid assimilation. This is the most striking feature 
of the book ; at the same time the categories with which it 
dealt were too vague to make a very deep impression." 

The lecturer introduced a new subject ; he also made 
the sensible innovation of placing a synopsis of each 
lecture in the hands of his hearers at the time of its delivery. 
This was much appreciated. ^ But the course was memor- 
able, apart from its merits, as having called into existence 
a book which was not only a singularly successful novel, 
but an impressive religious manifesto. Mrs. Humphrey 
Ward has told ^ how she came to write her Robert 

" It was in the spring of 1881 that the Reverend John 
Wordsworth, Fellow and Tutor of Brasenose CoUege, as he 
then was — now the Bishop of Sahsbury — preached the 
Bampton Lectures in St. Mary's. A personal recoUection 
with regard to the first of those Lectures may be given here, 
as it was, in fact, to the indignant reaction excited by that 
sermon in the mind of one of Dr. Wordsworth's hearers that 
Robert Elsmere may ultimately be traced. The syUabus 
of the Lecture had been circulated beforehand. It contained 
the following : ' The present unsettlement in rehgion.- — Its 
relation to the movement of civihsation. — Sense of injustice 
often felt in a time of transition. — Book of Job. — Christ, 
however, connects unbelief and sin. — Moral causes of unbelief, 
(i) Prejudice ; (2) Severe claims of rehgion, (3) InteUectual 
faults, especially indolence, coldness, recklessness, pride, and 

1 Proceedings of the British Academy, igta. 

2 From Canon Clayton. 

^ Introduction to the Library Edition, 1911. 


avarice.' These headings were developed in the sermon 
itself with a good deal of vigour and rigour. I remember 
gazing from those dim pews under the gallery, where the 
Masters' wives sit, at the fine ascetic face of the preacher, ^ 
with its strong likeness to his great-uncle, the poet of English 
pantheism ; and seeing beside it and around it, in imagination, 
the forms of those, his colleagues and contemporaries, the 
patient scholars and thinkers of the Liberal host, whom he was 
really — though perhaps not consciously — attacking. My 
heart burned within me, and it sprang into my mind that the 
only way to show England what was in truth going on in its 
midst, was to try and express it concretely — in terms of actual 
life and conduct. Who and what were the persons who had 
either provoked the present unsettlement of reUgion, or were 
suffering under its effects ? What was their history ? How 
had their thoughts and doubts come to be ? And what was 
the effect of them upon conduct ? It was from this protesting 
impulse, constantly cherished and strengthened, that, a few 
years later, Robert Elsmere took its beginning. It found 
immediate expression, however, in a pamphlet called Un- 
belief and Sin — a Protest addressed to those who attended 
the Bampton Lecture of Sunday, March 6. I wrote it 
rapidly ; it was printed and put up for sale in the windows 
of a well-known bookseller's shop in the High Street." 

Mrs. Ward must tell the story of the brief and interest- 
ing career of her pamphlet. It is written with force, 
and with a candour that recognises the existence in 
Oxford of " the jejune and reckless free-thinking of the 

* Archdeacon Bodington, who saw John Wordsworth for the first 
time at one of these lectures, says of it : "I remember thinking how 
Wordsworthian it was. I remember also being struck by what I 
thought the beauty of the high curve of the head, of the unbroken 
straight line made by the brow and nose, and also of the searching blue 
eyes, the most spiritual, true, and sincere it was possible to see." In 
the following year Dean Lake {Memorials, p. 262) describes a Lincoln 
Ordination : " Christopher, in a gorgeous cope, laying hands on these 
youths with that suave but ascetic face of his, and with the fervour 
and solemnity peculiarly his own. John Wordsworth holding with 
motionless rigidity a pastoral staff, the crook turned outwards, blazing 
with jewels." 


self-indulgent undergraduate or young feUow." That 
was the aspect of the ferment of thought that was con- 
spicuous to Wordsworth. To Mrs. Ward the prominent 
figures on the scene were — 

" men in our midst ... in whom the highest points of 
Christian character are combined with a slowly formed and 
firmly held conviction of the hoUowness of the claims made 
by the popular Christianity upon the reasonable faith of men." 

There was a clear and important issue, and had a con- 
troversy ensued it would have been conducted with 
becoming dignity. Not unwisely, both sides abstained. 
In the midst of his course Wordsworth was struck 
down by an accident which for a time seemed to endanger 
his life. While riding in the fields near Chalgrove during 
the Easter Vacation, he opened a gate which swung 
back, and the ironwork wounded him in the leg. He was 
carried to Pyrton Vicarage, the home of his brother-in-law, 
Mr. Hilgrove Coxe, and was long detained there. He 
was unable to walk till July, and did not resume his full 
work till the beginning of 1882. Three of his lectures 
were read for him by the Warden of Keble in the Summer 
term, and the two final discourses were delivered by 
himself in Michaelmas term, just before the publication 
of the book, the preface of which is dated 7th November, 
1881. During his illness he had resumed the practice 
of writing English verse, turning out an abundance 
of pleasant descriptive and narrative lines in the metres 
of Scott. Dr. Bright, in a letter to Mrs. Wordsworth,^ 
expressed the general sense of his friends concerning the 
value of her husband to the University : — 

"It is a matter of the truest and most well-grounded 
thankfulness to see your husband physically so much himself 

1 Christ Church, 12th December, 1S81. 


again. Setting apart all personal considerations, and trying 
to put one's self simply in the position of Christian and Church- 
man resident in Oxford, one would be sure to feel that a more 
prolonged illness, perhaps involving a yet longer absence on 
his part from Oxford and its work, would have been one of 
the sorest blows which the Cause could have received in what 
was once its stronghold and sanctuary. Such a trial we have 
escaped, and it is an escape indeed." 

On the 7th June, 1882, he was re-elected to an official 
fellowship in Brasenose. He had hesitated about accept- 
ing the post, which was that of chaplain-fellow, with the 
sole responsibility for the religious life of the College. 
He was to have the assistance of a stipendiary chaplain, 
and his task was lightened by the circumstance, very 
important in his eyes, that some of his colleagues were 
in Holy Orders, though he could not expect with any 
confidence that this would continue. Brasenose, in fact, 
had come to have a majority of " Academic Liberals," 
for the most part young men, on its governing body. 
But though their policy was not his, Wordsworth suffered 
no ungenerous treatment, and the novel position of a 
Fellow without life-tenure, which had its discomfort in 
some Colleges, was not irksome in Brasenose. Writing 
to his brother, just before his formal election, ^ he says : — 

" I am glad, of course, to have a vote, and glad to have a 
more or less secure position (ten years, subject to re-election), 
but I feel the responsibility of being the only (statutable) 
clerical member of the body, and having the sole responsibility 
of religious teaching. In many ways I thought the College 
would have done better to have chosen a younger man with 
whom I could have worked and whom I could have educated, 
so to speak, to take my place when I go. What I feel is that 
if I should be called away to other work there would be a 
gap, and no security for permanence of the same sort of 
relations which we have had with the men. But there was 

1 3rd June, 1882. 


no security either (if I had refused) that any man would be 
chosen with whom one would have been thoroughly satisfied, 
and this among other things led me to think it right to take 
the place." 

At once he began to increase his spiritual work in the 
College. He writes to his father, rejoicing that he is — 

" getting leave to use the chapel on Saturday evenings for 
devotional addresses. I shall give six this term, beginning 
at 9.30 and leaving off at five minutes to ten, when the bell 
goes for Evensong ; subjects, PubUc Prayer, Private Prayer, 
Holy Communion in general, H.C. a consecration of nature, 
a preparation for work, a preparation for death. I have given 
three as yet. The attendance began with about 12, and has 
increased to 16 or 17, which is encouraging. I begin with 
reading a Psalm from the Bible, and end with a prayer. There 
was some opposition to this proposal, but the Principal and 
one or two others kindly supported me, and those who opposed 
it I feel sure wish me weU." 

Wordsworth was again in the full swing of his work, 
classical and theological. In 1882 and 1883 he was an 
examiner in the Theological School, and he was from time 
to time reading before the Oxford Philological Society 
papers of classical and palaeographical knowledge as 
applied to the study of the Latin Bible. After much 
thought and the collection of much material, in which 
his vacations were now regularly employed, he was able 
to formulate his scheme for " The Oxford Critical Edition 
of the Vulgate New Testament." The prospectus was 
published on the 2nd November, 1882, and in a revised 
form on the 25th May, 1883. No serious change has 
been found necessary, and the work has proceeded to 
the present day on the lines then laid down. Words- 
worth wisely made a complete collation of each foreign 
manuscript, and revised it at once, so that no second 
visit to the library might be necessary. Thus, even 


before the First Gospel was in print, a great part of the 
material for the whole New Testament was collected, and 
his partners and successors in the task will be working 
to the end, in large measure, upon his collations or on 
collations made for him in the earlier stages of the under- 

On his journeys in search of manuscripts he was 
usually accompanied by his wife, and her bright letters 
record their adventures. The hardest work was, perhaps, 
at La Cava, near Naples, in January, 1879, where he 
worked daily from eight to half-past four. But the most 
interesting visit was to Spain in the Easter Vacation of 
1882. His purpose was not simply that of collating 
known MSS., but of seeking in old libraries for possible 
MSS. of the first importance. While Mrs. Wordsworth 
was sketching and sight-seeing at Toledo, her husband 
was hard at work. He writes to his brother ^ : — 

" I should have asked if you wanted anything looked up 
in the libraries, but I am afraid if you had wanted anything 
I should not have had time for it, as my own work on the 
Toledo Bible is heavier than I expected. It is nominally 
to revise a collation, but this is little less than making a new 
one, as I have to read the whole N.T. and constantly to correct 
Palomares' work, which is not surprising, as it was done in 
1588. It was rather hard on him, after all the trouble he took, 
that it was not in time to be used in the Sixtine Revision." 

But elsewhere Mrs. Wordsworth was able to help. 
It is unfortunate that the MSS. with which her story 
deals turned out to be of the common Spanish type, and 
unworthy, in spite of their age, of full collation. She 
wrote to her mother ^ from Avila : — 

" John asked a gentleman in the train who was the most 
learned man in Leon, and he named a Seiior Don Urena ; so 

1 i2th March, 1882. ^ 23rd March, 1882. 


John called on him on Sunday afternoon and he agreed to 
take John to the library of San Isidoro on Monday morning 
at eight. John came back at twelve, furious. There was the 
MS. and Don Ureiia had taken him into the monastery, but 
the Canonigos wouldn't let him look at it. They summoned 
a chapter, for John of course made a great row — said he had 
come all the way from Oxford, showed his letter to the Arch- 
bishop of Toledo, etc., etc. I do so wish I had seen it. I saw 
the old vaulted cloister, and it must have been a splendid 
sight. The Canonigos were all fine, big men, like the Dean of 
Christ Church, with their great three-cornered hats, and John 
in the middle. At last they let him see it with a Canon stand- 
ing over him— one hour in the morning and half an hour in 
the afternoon. Don Ureiia was most kind, helped John, 
took us out for a drive with his own carriage and horse, and 
was far the most intelligent man we have yet met in Spain. 
But, oh ! the strain of understanding his Spanish. John 
asked him to dinner, so that from two till nearly nine we 
were hard at work, talking a language I had never heard a 
word of a month ago. The most awful moment was when 
John left me to fetch his collations at the hotel. Both Don 
Ureiia and Canonigo Pascual took possession of me, shouting 
away Spanish at me at the top of their voices. I was surprised 
to find how well I got on considering what the strain was. 
They showed me such lovely things — the Pantheon of the 
Church, a sort of Galilee Hke that at Durham, only far more 
beautiful, with such carving and such coloured columns. 
Then John joined us and we went up to the library. John 
said, ' Keep them amused if you can for as long as possible,' 
and I did work hard. They showed me the standard of 
San Isidoro, which I suppose no woman had ever seen before 
— old missals — I talking hard all the time and John in despair 
collating for dear life, but they wouldn't give him more than 
half an hour. The Canonigo then took us on to the old city 
walls, where more Canonigos were walking up and down 
and smoking ; such a lovely view. They all bowed, kissed 
my hands and were at my feet ; the usual Spanish greeting. 
Then they walked us up and down, John like a child who has 
had its doll taken away from it, very cross and feeling horribly 
de trop, but it was beautiful, and the Canonigos so curious 


about us. Tuesday morning we dashed off up to the Cathedral 
and found a most interesting MS., very mutilated but more 
like the Codex Cavensis than any we have yet seen. It was 
even more difficult to get a sight of than the other. I would 
have given anything to sketch the two figures — John working 
away hard, writing notes, absorbed in his work, with his fair 
hair and English look, and the great Spanish Canon, dark, 
scowling, double John's size, standing over him with his arms 
folded, smoking of course, but looking so handsome. He would 
only allow us half an hour, and then off we ran to catch the 
train which left at half-past ten, Tuesday morning, and got 
us into Avila at half-past two, Wednesday morning. It 
sounds much worse than it was. The train crawled along, 
we could have walked as quick, through miles and miles of 
dreary waste land without grass and without a tree, something 
like the Holy Land, I fancy ; only dry, brown, and yellow 
sand, cold wind and dust." 

The published prospectus was well received. Dr. 
Hort gave it his full approval ; good results ought 
certainly to be obtained from " so wide and carefully 
chosen a range of materials." He suggested that the 
Old Latin readings should be fully incorporated, a counsel 
which unhappily was not followed in St. Matthew and 
St. Mark, though his advice has been taken in the later 
books. Dean Burgon also wrote with his accustomed 
emphasis ; he recognised, as no one else as yet did, the 
seriousness of the task. 

" I must not deceive you. You cannot make an edition 
of the Vulgate a Trdpepyov. It must occupy you ten years 
of hard work. It must become the business of a hfe. To 
fit it in with lectures and University business is (in my view) 
a simple impossibility, if the product is to be a Kx^^a ets det 
— a work worthy of your Father's Son." ^ 

In the autumn of this year Archbishop Tait lay dying, 
and Wordsworth wrote to a friend who had confidential 

^ Deanery, Chichester, 4th December, 1882. 


access to Mr. Gladstone in recommendation of the Bishop 
of Truro as his successor ^ : — 

" We want, in my opinion, a man who can acquire such 
freedom for the throne of Canterbury that it can take the 
patriarchal relation to the Colonial churches, without offence. 
The Archbishop's design in this respect, I think, was right, 
though his method of execution, especially his disregard of 
Convocation, was not reassuring to the clergy, and so set many 
good Churchmen against him. I beheve E. W. T. might find 
a means of conciliating both clergy and laity, and so keep us 
from the break-up which seems now and again to threaten. 
I confess I don't beheve in S. Africa being quite independent ; 
lay people and others out there won't stand it and they 
themselves are not fit for it. But we must have a sympathetic 
Archbishop before they will consent to anything hke appeal 
to England." 

Dr. Liddon resigned the Ireland Professorship of 
Exegesis on the 30th September in this year, 1882. As 
we have seen, he wished Wordsworth to be his successor, 
and Wordsworth was a candidate. His opponent was 
Edwin Hatch, and in the curious phase through which 
the University was passing the contest inevitably took a 
quasi-political form. The question was, how many among 
the Heads of Houses, who were the electors, were 
" Academic Liberals." Wordsworth took it for granted 
that they would vote against him. However, at the last 
moment Dr. Sanday was induced to come forward, and 
was elected by general consent. ^ Three weeks before 
this election Dr. Hawkins, the aged Provost of Oriel, 
had died, and a new office, the Oriel Professorship of the 

1 7th September, 1882. 

* Writing to his father on the 30th November, Wordsworth says, 
" the election will be on December 8th. The day is the same on 
which my Bampton Lectures came out last year. What do the augurs 
say to that ? " This is one of the few signs that he paid any of that 
Laudian attention to coincidences which marked his father and Arch- 
bishop Benson. 


Interpretation of Holy Scripture, came into existence, 
to be endowed with his Canonry at Rochester. Words- 
worth at once came forward, though he was warned by 
Bishop Benson, now Archbishop designate, that his chance 
was small : " there seems a consensus that you are to 
have the Margaret Professorship." That post did not 
fall vacant till Wordsworth had been ten years a Bishop. 
He persisted in his candidature, and on the 8th March, 
1883, was elected ^ to the double office in Oxford and 
Rochester. The approval was general, and the rejoicing 
of Liddon and his other friends was hearty. 

Wordsworth retained his teaching work, both classical 
and theological, till the end of 1883. He then resigned 
these duties, but continued to hold his chaplain-fellowship 
in Brasenose till he left Oxford. Being now a residentiary 
canon of another cathedral, he also resigned in 1883 his 
Lincoln prebend. He had now a new range of interests, 
and the next two years were to be the sole period of his 
life that he could devote without distraction to scholarship, 
though, as we shall see, he took his duties at Rochester 
very seriously. 

1 The electors were the Archbishop of Canterbury (who had been 
confirmed on the 3rd), the Bishop of Rochester (Thorold), the Vice- 
Chancellor (Jowett), the Provost of Oriel (Monro), the Regius Professor 
of Divinity (Ince). 



John Wordsworth's active work as Oriel Professor 
began in the Michaelmas term of 1883, ^ his subjects being 
dictated by the purpose of his chair, and limited by the 
character of his own studies to the New Testament. 
Beside lecturing, he held a seminar on " Subjects of 
Interest in Biblical Archaeology and Criticism," and 
founded, for senior students, a Society for Biblical 
Archaeology which met regularly at his house. There 
he read papers on topics connected with his Vulgate 
work, such as " An edition of the New Testament pro- 
jected by Bentley and John Walker," ^ and " The Corbey 
MS. of St. James and the light thrown by it on the 
original language of the Epistle." Among other readers 
of papers occur the names of Bigg, Ramsay, Sanday, and 
Gore. Part of the same activity was his publication, 
in November, 1883, of the first of the series of Old Latin 
Biblical Texts. The series was meant to serve as pro- 
legomena to the Edition of the Vulgate, and this volume 
dealt with the St. Germain MS. of St. Matthew. Words- 
worth was jointly author of the second ; the later numbers 

1 Between this term and the Summer term of 1885 he lectured 
successively on St. Mark, the Acts, St. James, and St. John's Gospel. 

^ He contributed an article on Walker to the first supplement of 
the Dictionary of National Biography, in iQog. 

^0^-92^ /^t</cU/,i<yi^c . CM^yiev" Cy^ia^e-::i-d<i^ 


are by other hands. ^ But the most striking act of the 
new Professor, and one that showed his originality, was 
the institution of a lecture for candidates in the examina- 
tion in the " Rudiments of Faith and Religion." That 
examination, now happily extinct, was notorious for its 
encouragement of irreverence and cramming ; but Words- 
worth saw in it an opening for the religious instruction 
of some who would otherwise have no occasion to study 
sacred subjects at Oxford, and resolved to turn it to 
account. In spite of the novelty of a Professor lecturing 
on a Pass subject, and of the excellence of his motives, 
the course cannot have been successful, for it was not 

Among his voluntary activities was that of lecturing 
from 1884 for the Association for the Education of Women 
in Oxford ; and he showed his regard for Dr. Mozley by 
helping his sister to compile the volume of his Letters, 
and to select the Essays, Historical and Theological, 
both of which works were published in 1884.2 The latter 
was dedicated by Miss Mozley to Professor Wordsworth. 
In the new constitution of the University, which was 
just coming into force, he found some opportunity of 
action. Boards of Faculties came into being in January, 
1883, and Wordsworth was one of their original members ; ^ 
as a Professor he had an official place on the Board of 

1 O.L.B.T. ii. bears the names of Wordsworth, Sanday, and H. J. 
White ; it deals with the Bobbio MS. (k). Vols. iii. and iv. are by 
Dr. White, joint-editor of the Vulgate ; v. and vi. by Mr. E. S. Buchanan, 
a scholar from New Zealand who was ordained by Bishop Wordsworth 
in 1897, and has settled in England. 

2 He formed a very close friendship with the ladies of the Mozley 
family, and from them learned much of the inner history of the Oxford 
Movement. To the posthumous Essays from Blackwood of Miss 
Anne Mozley, 1892, a memoir by Bishop Wordsworth was prefixed. 

^ He was nominated by his College as a member of three Faculties, 
Literae Humaniores, Modern History, and Theology, but sat on the 
Board only of the last. He never seems to have lectured on Modern 



Theology. In October, 1884, he also became a member 
of the Hebdomadal Council, defeating his friend Dr. King 
of Christ Church by two votes. ^ 

Though his activity was unimpaired, Wordsworth's 
recovery from his accident of 1881 was not complete. 
He was to suffer from it at intervals throughout his life, 
and when he became chaplain-fellow he found the daily 
walk from Keble Terrace to Brasenose and back to his 
breakfast so tiring that he had to seek a fresh home. He 
found it in a picturesque old house facing the west end 
of St. Mary's Church and almost surrounded by Brasenose, 
to which it belonged. After some negotiations he obtained 
a lease, and was able for the first time to indulge his 
passion for architectural restoration and antiquarian 
reconstruction of the past. Writing to an old pupil ^ 
he describes its state : — 

" This house is very nearly in ruins, but is being rebuilt and 
repaired fast enough to give us the expectation of getting 
into it at Michaelmas. We have found several old Jacobean 
fireplaces of rather rudely carved stone — some looking earlier 
— all which we shall use when possible. On one carved door- 
way (which is to be our front door) we find the Magdalen College 
arms, and below, the fleur-de-lys. This we think proves that 
the house belonged to Magdalen College and is to be identified 
with a Hall called ' Little St. Mary's Entry.' On the other 
doorway to the drawing-room are the rose and thistle. This 
we think a compliment to James I., who among other things 
sent his son. Prince Henry, to Magdalen, about the time when 
we suppose this house to have been built. General Rigaud 
has also an idea that the house was inhabited by a bookseller 
called Joseph Barnes, so I have promptly bought Bryan 
Twyne's Antiquities of Oxford : Oxoniae excudehat Josephus 

1 This was really a defeat for his side and a victory for the Academic 
Liberals. There were three professorial vacancies and each party 
put forward two candidates. The voting was, Markby 131, Bywater 
128, Wordsworth 127, King 125. 

^ 14th May, 1884, to C. W. Holgate, afterwards his legal secretary 
and Chancellor. 


Barnes anno Dom. 1608, which I shall say was printed in 
my house till Madan ^ disproves it. We have had a great 
many changes of plan, much to the worry of the architect, 
who has, however, been most angehcally patient." 

He was not the last architect to find in the future 
Bishop a masterful client ; but it must be said that the 
client's suggestions were often practical as well as 

The Oriel professorship was endowed with a canonry 
which Queen Anne had attached to the provostship of 
the College, but which had been put to a new use now 
that the Provost might be, and indeed was, a layman. It 
was still attached to the College in that the holder was 
officially a Fellow, with a vote in its government. The 
Rev. L. R. Phelps, 2 one of his colleagues, writes of him : — 

" The Commission of 1882 made many changes in Oxford. 
Not the least important in its effect upon our social life was 
the attaching of Professors ex officio to various Colleges. 
Thus by his election in 1883 to the chair of the Interpretation 
of Holy Scripture, Wordsworth became Fellow of Oriel and 
Canon of Rochester. He was admitted on March 9, 1883, 
and remained a Fellow until his appointment as Bishop of 
Salisbury in 1885. 

" The position was not altogether free from difficulty. 
Over and above the dichotomy of life involved by residence 
at Rochester and professorial duties in Oxford there was a 
certain anomaly in his being a Fellow without emolument. 
He sat at College meetings and took part in College business 
without the material interest of a share in College dividends. 
Nor, again, is it altogether easy for a man trained in the ways 
of thought and manner of life of one society to adopt those 
of another. In short, there were endless opportunities for 
misunderstanding and even friction, and a College might well 
feel a little nervous for the result. Happily any doubts on 
the subject were soon set at rest. Wordsworth threw himself 

1 F. Madan, Fellow of B.N.C., now Bodley's Librarian. 
* Fellow of Oriel 1877; now Provost. 


whole-heartedly into the life of the College in all its aspects. 
He cultivated the friendship of its members, he made himself 
famiUar with its history and traditions, he welcomed every 
opportunity of doing it service. In after life he spoke warmly, 
nay, generously, of his connexion with it and the debt he 
owed to it. To the last he was a regular visitor at College 
celebrations, always ready to propose or acknowledge a toast. 
His speeches on such occasions were full of matter and often 
threw light on the course of his own studies. In short, he 
was a loyal member of Oriel, and brief as was his actual 
connexion with us it left a lasting memory behind." 

The life at Rochester, where the Chapter agreed that 
the Professor-Canon should take his residence during 
the Long Vacation, was one of great happiness for the 
Wordsworths. The Dean was Dr. Scott, joint author of 
the Greek Lexicon, a former Master of Balliol and a 
friend of Mrs. Wordsworth from her childhood. The 
Canons were Archdeacon Grant, who was in failing health 
and died on the 25th November in this year, 1883, and 
Messrs. Jelf and Burrows, with both of whom the new 
Canon formed a close friendship.^ At the end of his first 
residence he describes his experience to one of his 
sisters ^ : — 

" We go back to Oxford to-morrow, having wound up our 
residence here to-day. . . . Our Chapter may not be so 
grand as yours and our cathedral is certainly inferior, but I 
will back our Chapter against any in England for kindliness 
and affection up and down, from the Dean to the choir-boys 
and vergers. Susie and I are in danger of getting quite spoilt, 
and it is lucky that we have got Oxford with its knocks and 

1 Canon Jelf preached at his consecration ; the Memorials of 
Canon Burrows (1894) were written by Miss E. Wordsworth, with an 
introduction by the Bishop of Salisbury. After Canon Burrows' death 
in 1892 his widow (the mother of the present Bishop of Truro) and her 
daughters took up their residence in Salisbury. The Memorials well 
illustrate the Rochester life of the Wordsworths. 

* Mrs. Leeke, of Lincoln, 30th September, 1883. 


its clavers to give us a tonic after the sweetness of Rochester. 
Perhaps this gentleness is due to the absence of books. I was 
never, I think, in a town of such a size — about 90,000 people 
all told in the group of towns — ^without a single bookseller's 
shop above the rank of a Christian Knowledge depot. What 
I should have done without the Provost "s hbrary, I cannot 
think." 1 

But if he found much that was good, he was bent 
upon improvements. With the successful example of 
Chancellor Benson at Lincoln before him, he threw himself 
into the life of Rochester and Chatham, holding classes 
for the artisans of the dockyard and evidently exciting 
a genuine enthusiasm among them. He anticipates " a 
little beginning of Dr. King's Friday Bethel evenings," 
and his wife writes ^ : — 

" John says they [the dockyard men] make him nervous, 
they are so anxious to know when he preaches, and evidently 
discuss and criticise. He says it makes him more careful with 
his sermons." 

Mrs. Wordsworth, for her part, collected a great 
mothers' meeting and found in that and other ways full 
scope for her powers of influence. Altogether, there 
was something lyrical about this episode of two years 
in their life. 

It may seem strange that among the desires that were 
satisfied in his new position was that for business to trans- 
act. To many he seemed, and seems, the scholar and 
recluse ; in reality he had a passion for administrative 
work. His marriage in 1870 had shut him out from any 
share in the business side of College life. He was not 
re-elected till 1882. In 1883 he became Fellow of Oriel, 
and as we have seen took a hearty share in the business 

^ Dr. Hawkins had bequeathed his library to his successors. 
^ 26th July, 1884, to her mother. 


of a second College, But the crown of his enjoyment 
was evidently the canonry. He made and kept elaborate 
notes of Cathedral proceedings ; few Deans would have 
taken such trouble in recording details of merely passing 
interest. There was no side of Cathedral life with which 
he did not strive to make himself familiar. He found 
inevitably that there were points which needed amend- 
ment, and at once he bestirred himself. It was an old 
custom to close the Cathedral for cleaning during a part of 
the summer. In 1883, during his first residence, this was 
stopped, and since then service has been continuous. 
At the same time he began an agitation for an evening 
service. Dean Scott belonged to an older school, and there 
were the inevitable objections ; " unsatisfactory things 
taking place in the nave," and so forth. The great age 
of Archdeacon Grant was another obstacle, but it was 
not valid for long. In May, 1885, the Canons (for Words- 
worth had enlisted their support) gained their will, " the 
Dean making no objection." 

Rochester was an ill-endowed Cathedral, with two 
schools (the King's School and the Choir School) under its 
charge, beside the cost of restoration, not yet completed 
in Wordsworth's time, of the fabric. Dean Scott set a 
high example of generosity, and the Canons followed his 
example, as may be seen in the Introduction to Canon 
Burrows' Memorials, where the writer is silent as to his 
own share of the expenditure. It was largely to Canon 
Wordsworth that the acquisition of the cricket-ground 
for the King's School was due ; his contributions to the 
purchase did not cease even after his election to the see 
of Salisbury.^ He had a considerable share in designing 
the Choir School and its surrounding buildings ; and also 
large opportunities of reconstructing Oriel Lodge, his 

1 I learn this from his friend and ally at Rochester, Mr. Stephen 


official residence, where much needed to be renewed 
after Dr. Hawkins' long tenure of fifty-five years. He 
was the more ready to improve it that he meant it for 
the residence of his father's old age. But the Bishop of 
Lincoln lived only six weeks after his resignation, and 
eight months after his father's death John Wordsworth 
was Bishop of Salisbury. At Rochester, as at St. Mary's 
Entry, he received little return from his architectural 

Wordsworth's third residence at Rochester was his 
last. He had advertised his Oxford lectures for the 
Autumn term, he was carrying on his usual employments, 
he had his reading party at Oriel Lodge — having a house 
away from Oxford, he no longer took lodgings with his 
pupils but entertained them in his own home — he had 
his Bible classes for the Cathedral choir boys and for the 
men of the dockyard, and was taking his share in the 
social and religious life of the city. He was acting on 
the assumption that he had found his permanent work, 
and was making himself thoroughly a man of Kent. 
It is characteristic that he not only became a subscriber 
to the Archaeologia Cantiana, but bought a set complete 
from the beginning, and continued his subscription to his 

This active and happy life was suddenly interrupted 
by the offer of the Bishopric of Salisbury, made by the 
Marquess of Salisbury, who succeeded Mr. Gladstone 
in office on the 23rd June, 1885. It had been publicly 
known for more than a month before this that Bishop 
Moberly was on the point of resignation, and there is 
strong reason to think that had Mr. Gladstone continued 
in office the see would have been offered to Dr. Liddon.^ 
But Dr. Moberly, physically incapable of executing the 
deed of resignation, lingered on till the 6th July. Canon 

^ See Liddon's Life, p. 317. 


Wordsworth was one of those who had pleaded with 
Liddon to accept the see, if it were offered. He had no 
expectation that it would be offered to himself ; it had 
neither occurred to him that it was possible, nor had any 
friend suggested it. In fact, he never knew what were 
the special considerations which induced Lord Salisbury 
to recommend him to the Queen, as his first episcopal 
appointment, at that time and for that particular see. 

Lord Salisbury wrote as follows from Hatfield House 
on the 13th August, 1885 : — 

" Reverend Sir, 

" I have the Queen's permission to propose to you 
that you should undertake the Bishopric of Salisbury. I 
earnestly hope that you may be able to accept it. Your 
position in the Church and your well-known erudition are 
a sufficient pledge that you will adorn an office the importance 
of which one bearing the name you have the happiness to 
bear is not likely to underrate. 

"It is right I should tell you that many difficulties have 
concurred to keep the vacancy open very long — too long for 
the good of the diocese ; and if you do not accept, though 
it may not be easy to find a better candidate, it may not be 
easy to escape a worse one. 

" Believe me, 

" Yours very truly, 

" Salisbury." 

The letter was addressed to Brasenose, and as it 
happened Wordsworth had left no instructions for the 
forwarding of his correspondence. Mr. Pelham, after- 
wards Camden Professor and President of Trinity, by 
chance entered Brasenose Lodge and saw the letter lying 
on the table. From the signature "Salisbury" in the 
corner of the envelope he recognised its importance, 
and it was at once dispatched to Rochester. It reached 
its destination on the evening of Saturda}^ the 15th 


August. For the reason given in his answer, Wordsworth 
felt that he must reply at once. He accordingly wrote 
on the next day from the Precincts, Rochester. 

" My Lord, 

" The important communication which you were 
good enough to address to me at Brasenose has been forwarded 
to me here, where I am keeping my residence till the end of 
the month, and only reached me late last evening. 

" The proposal contained in your Lordship's kind letter 
was so wholly unexpected that I should gladly have asked 
leave to reflect on it for a few days, but, knowing that the see 
of Salisbury has been some time vacant and that your Lordship 
is leaving England this week, I have endeavoured to consider 
it and reply to it in the few hours that have elapsed since the 
receipt of your letter. 

" If Her Majesty is graciously pleased to recommend me 
for election to the Bishopric of SaUsbury I shall be willing to 
accept the appointment and shall endeavour, with the help 
of God, to do my best to serve the Church in that place. I 
write this, nevertheless, with a heavy heart, knowing how 
unworthy I am in His sight of so great a charge. 

" May I beg your Lordship, should occasion offer, to present 
the assurance of my loyal duty to Her Majesty and of my deep 
gratitude to her for this mark of her confidence and favour ? 
May I also beg you to accept my sincere thanks for the kindness 
of the terms in which you have been good enough to couch 
your proposal ? 

" I have the honour to be, my Lord, 

" Always your faithful servant, 

" John Wordsworth." 

The cases can have been but few in which a bishopric 
has been accepted by return of post, and without the 
consultation of even the most intimate friends. 

Among the many messages of good will that he received 
the most interesting was Liddon's.^ 

1 3, Amen Court, 19th August, 1885. 


" Do not, dear friend, distress yourself in any way on my 
account. There are many reasons which make it impossible 
that Lord S. should ever have offered me the see of Salisbury ; 
among others this, that although he has been for years the 
kindest of friends, he probably knows me too well to think 
that I should make a good bishop. And (to get out of the 
region of second causes which in these matters are always 
apt to be misleading) we can, I think, recognise a Higher Hand 
in an appointment which places the diocese in the keeping 
of one who has still, as I trust, his best years before him, and 
a good heart to make the best possible use of them for God's 

" I hope that you will be able to put the Vulgate into the 
hands of some younger man, sufficiently trustworthy and 
accomplished, to relieve you of the painful sense of abandoning 
a truly great work." 

Others were more hopeful in this respect. The Arch- 
bishop wrote quite lightl}'^ of the double work ; Dean 
Church ^ was more doubtful. 

" I suppose that after the contradictory notices in the 
papers I may now believe that you are to succeed my dear 
old friend and elder brother at Salisbury. I am very glad 
that so good a man is to be in his place, and one so much in 
sympathy with all that was nearest his heart. I fear there 
may be some hindrance and delay in the work which you have 
been hitherto doing for the Church, and which no one can do 
as you would do it. Ceriani,^ I know, will tear his hair. But 
Lightfoot and Stubbs have found time for their special scholars' 
work, and I hope you will, too. And for all the rest, there is 
nothing but matter of congratulation to us all. And I think 
you will find it a very encouraging diocese to work in. It is 
a diocese which is at peace, and very loyal." 

Bishop King's letter ^ does not allude to the Vulgate. 

1 Deanery, St. Paul's, 19th August, 1885. 

* The famous scholar and librarian of Milan. 

* Hilton House, Lincoln, 17th August, 1885. 


" It wiU be a great support and comfort to the Bishops 
of the Southern Province. When Winchester and Gloucester ^ 
go there will be Uttle learning left. Now you will just come 
in at the right time to supply the want." 

He was not allowed to leave Brasenose without a 
public recognition of his services. A fund was collected 
which, by his own wish, was devoted to the foundation 
of a Wordsworth prize in the College ; it is now given 
annually for an essay on a theological subject. The 
letters which accompanied the contributions testify to 
his influence and to the gratitude of his pupils. ^ It was 
the conclusion of a happy and successful work, saddened 
towards the end by the death of some of those dearest 
to the Words worths, 3 but hardly impeded by the frequent 
infirmities of the wife, which her high spirit enabled her 
to overcome in term-time, though there is a sad record 
of lameness and other infirmities which beset her in the 
vacations. In 1891 the College showed its regard by 
electing him to an honorary fellowship. To Rochester 
he bade farewell on the 29th August, and in October he 
presented to the Cathedral a silver-gilt paten and chalice, 
copied from those of Brasenose. His Rochester friend- 
ships he retained through life. 

1 Bishops Browne and Ellicott. 

* The testimonial was organised by Messrs. E. H. Goddard, now 
Rector of Clyffe Pypard, G. Longridge, now of the House of the Resur- 
rection, Mirfield, and G. W. Sandford, now of Liphook, Hants. 

* Mr. Coxe died in 1881, Mrs. Wordsworth, the mother, in 1884, 
the Bishop of Lincoln at the beginning of 1885. 



The circumstances which led to Mr. Wordsworth's under- 
taking to bring out a critical edition of the Vulgate New 
Testament have been related elsewhere ; ^ it remains 
here to give some account of how he approached the task 
and successfully performed so much of it. 

The need was undoubted. The Bull attached to the 
Clementine Bible of 1592 ordered that all future editions 
of the Vulgate were to agree word for word with the 
Papal edition, while the insertion of any notes or variant 
readings in the margin was strictly forbidden. ^ These 
measures undoubtedly provided the Roman Catholic 
Church with an edition of the Bible which would always 
be one and the same, but it stifled all attempts at revising 
the text, and Dr. Sanday could write of the editio minor 
of the Oxford Vulgate in 1912 that it was " the first 
completely critical edition of the Vulgate New Testament 
on modem lines." ^ Mr. Wordsworth, therefore, had 
very little organised material before him when making 
his preparations and planning out his work ; in the 

^ See above, p. 108. 

^ Quite a literature has sprung up in the last few years round the 
Sixtine and Clementine editions of the Vulgate ; see especially Le 
Bachelet, Bellarmin et la Bible Sixto-Clementine, Paris, 191 1 ; Baum- 
garten, Die Vulgata Sixtina von 1590 und ihre Einfuhrungsbulle, Miinster 
i. W., 191 1 ; Amann, Die Vulgata Sixtina von 1590, Freiburg i. B., 

* Oxford Magazine, 29th February, 1912, p. 244. 


admirable little pamphlet entitled The Oxford Critical 
Edition of the Vulgate, published in 1882, he drew attention 
not only to " the enormous number of Vulgate MSS. 
which crowd our libraries/' but to the fact that in spite 
of this — 

" there exists no edition based upon a sufficiently wide exami- 
nation of MS. authorities, much less one that exhibits their 
variations with accuracy and clearness. The earlier revisers, 
with the honourable exception of Robert Stephens (1538-1540) , 
and to some extent of Lucas Brugensis, mostly refer to their 
authorities in general terms, and so vaguely that their evidence 
is of little value as an assistance to the judgment. The 
Benedictine editors are, for the most part, equally reticent 
and disappointing. Bentley's collections for a critical Graeco- 
Latin Testament happily still exist, and are a noble monument 
of his labour and genius. His plan was finely conceived, 
and, generally speaking, on the right lines ; but those who have 
examined his papers carefuUy agree that he was not an 
accurate collator, and that he was himself not satisfied with 
the result of his work as a text for publication. Lachmann's 
Latin text (1842, 1850), so far as it represents the Vulgate, 
is based chiefly on two codices, Amiatinus and Fuldensis, and 
on a faulty and imperfect collation of the first and most 
important of them. Tischendorf's little manual text (1864), 
though useful to the student, has a very slight apparatus 
criticus, and was obviously Uttle more than the by-work of 
a life devoted mainly to Greek MSS." 

He himself set to work with characteristic thoroughness, 
and the succeeding pages of his pamphlet gave a list of 
the most important Vulgate MSS., with a division into 
families and an estimate of their respective values, which 
subsequent study has not seriously modified. He grate- 
fully acknowledged the assistance which he had received 
from Dr. Westcott's article on the Vulgate in Smith's 
Dictionary of the Bible, and from personal consultation 
with that scholar ; but in addition he carried on a large 


amount of pioneer work himself. His correspondence 
at this time (1882 and onwards) shows that he was in 
communication with many scholars and libraries, British 
and foreign, and that he was making systematic inquiries 
as to the most valuable Vulgate MSS. in almost every 
country in Europe. Letters are preserved from Dr. 
Abbott and Dr. Gwynn, of Trinity College, Dublin ; 
from the Rev. J. Fenwick, with regard to the MSS. in 
the Phillipps Library at Cheltenham ; from Canon Green- 
well, of Durham, who has lately enriched the British 
Museum with a page from the brother MS. of the Codex 
Amiatinus ; ^ from Dr. Hatch, who, as early as 1882, 
was convinced of the late date of the Amiatinus ; from 
Dr. Hort as well as from Dr. Westcott, at Cambridge ; 
from Bishop Lightfoot ; from Baron Friedrich von Hiigel, 
who in those days was working at textual criticism, and 
who kindly collated a considerable portion of the Harley 
Gospels {Harl. 1775) in the British Museum ; from Mark 
Pattison, who was consulted about Erasmus ; from Dr. 
A. W. Streane, who kindly collated the Corpus MS. of 
the Gospels at Cambridge ; from Dr. Scrivener ; from 
Dr. Sparrow Simpson, who was consulted as to the possi- 
bility of tracing any of the Vulgate MSS. once belonging 
to the Cathedral Library at St. Paul's ; and from Dr. 
(now Sir G. F.) Warner, of the British Museum. Abroad, 
there was a band of scholars at Paris, unrivalled for the 
thoroughness of their learning, and for the generosity 
with which they placed it at Mr. Wordsworth's service ; 
it is enough to name Samuel Berger, Leopold Delisle, 
Paul Fabre, Ch, Kohler, Paul Meyer, Henry Omont ; in 
Germany there were Dr. C. R. Gregory, Dr. Brambach 
of Karlsruhe, Dr. Gardthausen, Dr. Ernest Ranke (the 

1 Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 3777 ; full description and photographs 
are given in the New Palaeographical Society's facsimiles, part vii., plates 
158. 159 (1909)- 


editor of the Codex Fuldensis), Dr. Roensch (whose 
Itala und Vulgata, and Neue Testament Tertullians, were 
to be so constantly used), Dr. Spitta of Bonn, Dr. Watten- 
bach ; in Austria, Dr. J. Meister of Vienna ; in Switzer- 
land, Dr. Sieber of Basel ; in Italy there were at Milan 
Dr. Ceriani and Padre F. Villa (who transcribed the 
valuable Milan MS. of the Gospels), at Rome Padre 
Sergio, Padre Gatti (who, with Dr. Mau, transcribed 
the Corredorium Vaticanum) , Dr. Gnoly , and Dr. Meyncke 
(who collated MS. Vatic. Regin. 9 of the Epistles), at 
Turin Signor Gorresio ; and in Spain there were Senor 
M. de Goicoechea and Sehor J. F. de Riaho. These 
names represent a fairly large circle of European scholars, 
and we may take it as certain that no one who was known 
to be an authority on Vulgate MSS. at the time was 
passed over. The correspondence naturally varied in 
amount with different people ; but with such friends as 
Dr. Gwynn, Dr. Hort, Dr. Westcott at home, and Samuel 
Berger, Leopold Delisle, and Henry Omont abroad, the 
interchange of letters was frequent and increasingly 
cordial, till death cut off one or other of the correspondents ; 
certainly few students, on beginning a great task, have 
been helped more willingly or more wisely than was Mr. 

In addition to these friends must be named, as helping 
him by collation of MSS., Miss E. and Miss J. Johnson, 
the Rev. W. C. Bell,i the Rev. J. C. Roper, 2 and the Rev. 
W. Marsh. 3 Two other young friends, both of whom he 
had examined in the Honour Theology School in 1883, 
began an acquaintance with him soon after that date, 

1 Scholar of B.N.C. ; B.A. in 1882 ; now Vicar of Norland, in the 
Diocese of Wakefield. 

2 Keble Coll. ; B.A. in 1881 ; now Bishop of Columbia. 

2 Hasker (Hebrew) Scholar of Exeter Coll. ; B.A. (ist in Theology) 
1887 ; ordained in 1889 ; was afterwards Vice-Principal of the Theolo- 
gical College at Gloucester ; died in 1894. 


which ripened not only into the warmest friendship, but 
also into a permanent co-operation in the work ; these 
were the Rev. G. M. Youngman ^ and myself. Mr. 
Youngman collated MSS. in London and Paris and tran- 
scribed the whole New Testament from the famous Book 
of Armagh at Dublin ; ^ as years went on he was more 
and more consulted as to the types of text exhibited by 
the various families of Vulgate MSS., and his careful 
study of their relations and characteristics made his 
advice most valuable ; the fasciculi containing the Romans 
and Acts bear marks of his care on every page, and as 
the work progresses now his share in it becomes ever 

As regards my own share in the work I may be per- 
mitted to speak at some length. I was introduced to 
Mr. Wordsworth through the kind offices of Dr. Sanday 
in 1884 ; and after some instruction in palaeography, in 
which the present Bodley's Librarian, Mr. F. Madan, 
helped me much, I started collating Vulgate MSS. in the 
British Museum — an occupation so fascinating that at 
first I could hardly believe it to be sober reality. The 
variant readings in all the Vulgate collations were noted 
in interleaved copies of the Codex Amiatinus, in Tischen- 
dorf 's edition ; ^ the blank pages were divided vertically 

1 Worcester Coll. ; B.A. (ist in Theology) 1883 ; now Rector of 
Porton, in the diocese of Salisbury. 

2 The beginning of the present year (1914) has at length seen the 
publication of this MS. in a splendid form, under the editorship of 
Dr. Gwynn. Dr. Gwynn has conferred a lasting obligation on students 
of the New Testament by giving an exact transcript of the text, with 
a most valuable Introduction ; it is the fruit of many years' strenuous 
and wise work {Liber Ardmachanns : the Book of Armagh, edited, 
with Introduction and Appendices, by J. Gwynn, D.D., D.C.L. Dublin, 


^ Novum Testamentum Latine interprete Hieronymo. ex celeber- 
rimo codice Amiatino . . . nunc primum edidit Constantinus Tischen- 
dorf. Lipsiae, 1850 (second edition, with a few corrections, 1854). 


into three columns, each of which would contain the colla- 
tion of one MS. in coloured ink ; blue, red, and black 
were regularly employed and sometimes, in addition, 
brown and green ; these latter, however, were not often 
used, partly because the pages would become too crowded 
with collations, partly because there was danger of con- 
fusing the colours on a dull day or by artificial light. 
Indeed, notwithstanding the heroic programme of the 
first few years, it soon became evident that work at 
the edition could not be safely carried on except by 

Mr. Wordsworth always collated in Latin ; a practice 
which I have continued, as it is clearer and more concise 
than English. He collated rapidly and wrote a good 
clear hand ; and so far as I have been able to test his 
work, he attained a very high level of accuracy, though 
he himself wrote in 1883, " I know by experience that 
absolute correctness, if not unattainable, is hardly ever 
obtained." ^ But I have hardly ever detected him in a 
mistake, and very rarely in an omission ; only those 
who have worked much at collating MSS. know what 
high praise this is. A tendency to make his notes too 
short, and to abbreviate when writing, interfered a little 
with the clearness of his work ; for a collation may not 
be used for ten or twelve years, and by that time even the 
collator himself, let alone his assistant, may well have 
forgotten for what his signs or compendia stood. 

By the summer of 1884 enough material had been 
collected to make a beginning with the text of St. Matthew, 
and by Canon Wordsworth's invitation I came to stay 
with him at Rochester for that purpose. I arrived there 
one hot afternoon in August (if I remember right) ; he 
and Mrs. Wordsworth were out, but he came in soon 
afterwards, greeted me with his bright smile, and after 

1 Old Latin Biblical Texts, No. i, p. xxx. 



inquiring whether I wanted any tea, said, " If you have 
got your notes with you, we may as well begin at once " ; 
and so we did. We worked together till dinner-time, and 
after dinner till about ii p.m. ; in the midst of dinner 
he suddenly remarked, " Oh, by the by, do you know 
which is your bedroom ? " but fortunately I had already 
been shown it. For a fortnight of summer weather we 
worked between six and eight hours a day, and finished 
about ten chapters of St. Matthew ; then I left for the 
Continent, to collate the texts of the St. Gall fragments 
{n, 0, p) and the Munich Gospels {q) for the second and 
third volumes of Old Latin Biblical Texts. The next 
summer I was ordained in Rochester diocese, and had no 
time to spare away from my curacy at Oxted ; but the 
following letter, written to Dr. Talbot, ^ and dated " St. 
Peter's Day, 1885," shows that Canon Wordsworth's 
methodical diligence had not slackened : — 

" Monotonous but happy. Breakfast at 8 ; letters and 
news till 10 ; Cathedral till 11 ; Vulgate ii-i ; dinner 1-2 ; 
Vulgate 2-5 ; tea 5-5.30 ; Cathedral 5.30-6.30 ; ride or 
drive 6.30-8.30 ; supper, such light books as one can digest ; 
bed. ... I have got Marsh of Exeter with me now for 
a month, acting as a sort of Vulgate secretary. We are 
nearing the end of St. Matthew, and hope to make a serious 
impression on St. Mark before he goes. Then Roper comes 
for August to continue the impression, and I hope to complete 
St. Mark. Farther I do not expect to get at present, for 
5 hours does not suffice for more than 20 or 30 verses, and 
sometimes not so much, when there is any peculiarity in the 

As a matter of fact, so far from St. Mark being com- 
pleted, it was not even begun that year, and the work 
did not proceed beyond the 20th chapter of St. Matthew. 
Soon came his appointment to the see of Salisbury, 

^ Now Bishop of Winchester. 


and " the busy silence of the study," as Dean Church 
called it, had to be given up for practical work. Early 
in 1886, however, he wrote to me proposing that I should 
join him at Salisbury, devoting the greater part of my 
time to the Vulgate, but also helping in the diocese as 
a member of the Society of St. Andrew ; ^ and on Easter 
Monday in that year I went down to Salisbury to complete 
the necessary arrangements. My companion for that 
day was Dr. Peter Corssen, who had been engaged for 
some years on Vulgate studies in Germany, and was then 
collating MSS. in the British Museum ; he naturally wished 
to make the acquaintance of the Bishop of Salisbury, and 
to ascertain what progress was being made with the English 
edition. The result of his visit was another pleasant 
friendship, which tended to co-operation rather than to 
rivalry ; but ultimately Dr. Corssen, drawn away to more 
classical studies, gave up his project of an independent 
critical edition of the Vulgate. ^ 

In August, 1886, I came to take up residence at Salis- 
bury and to give myself, under the Bishop's guidance, 
to that delightful study at which I have worked ever since, 
and hope to work till the end of my life. For the first 
year I lived in the Palace and was able to give a consider- 
able amount of time to the Vulgate ; then the Bishop 
appointed me Vice-Principal of the Theological College, 
and from that time onward College duties were a first 
charge upon me. Still I managed, as a rule, to get more 

1 See p. 200. 

2 Dr. Corssen's contributions tothe study of the Vulgate and Old-Latin 
versions have been numerous and valuable ; they comprise the Epistula 
ad Galatas (Berlin, 1885); the dissertation on the text of the Trier er 
Ada-Handschrift {Publikationen der Gesellschaft fur rheinische Geschichts- 
kunde. No. VI.; 1889) ; Monarchianische Prologezu den vier Evangelien ; 
ein Beitrag zur Gesch. des Kanons (Texte u. Untersuchungen, XV. Band, 
Heft I.; Leipzig, 1896); Bericht ber die lateinischen Bibeliibersetzungen 
[Jahresbericht iibev die Fortschritte der class. AUertumswissenschaft ; 
Leipzig, 1899) ; etc., etc. 


than half the morning at the Vulgate in Terra time, 
and nearly all in Vacation ; but the rate of progress 
dropped from the original twenty or thirty verses a day to 
an average of five or six. One room was reserved, as far 
as could be, for the work ; and every table in it and 
most of the available chairs were covered with books, 
collations, and manuscripts. The Palace library was 
large and well selected ; self-denying as the Bishop was 
in most ways, he spent lavishly on books ; second-hand 
catalogues always had an irresistible attraction for him, 
and he seldom returned from a foreign holiday without 
two or three Early Latin Bibles ; books of reference too 
were bought as soon as the need for them was felt. I can 
speak feelingly on this point, for in his kind forethought 
he bequeathed to me by his will any of his books that 
I might find useful for continuing the work ; and I have 
nearly all I want. More important, he showed me what 
books to consult and how to use them ; to work with 
him was indeed a liberal education ; and perhaps the most 
valuable lesson I learnt from him was never to take the 
references in a footnote for granted, but always to look 
them up and see whether they really said what they were 
supposed to say. The books which were the greatest 
help to us from the beginning were Goelzer's Latinite 
de Saint Jerome, Draeger's Historische Syntax der latein- 
ischen Sprache, Neue's Formenlehre der lateinischen Sprache, 
Hand's Tursellinus, Roby's Latin Grammar, Kaulen's 
Geschichte der Vulgafa and Handhuch zur Vulgata, and 
Roensch's Itala und Vulgata ; but naturally Dictionaries 
and Concordances were constantly consulted, and the 
Bishop knew that the most valuable instrument in the 
hands of a scholar is a good Concordance. ^ 

1 I am glad to bear testimony to the excellence of Dutripon's 
Concordance to the Vulgate ; I have used it now for many years and 
have hardly ever come across an omission or a mistake in it. 


A division of labour was soon decided on. Any one 
who has studied the large critical edition of the Vulgate 
will have seen that in the majority of cases there is 
practically no doubt as to the reading, and that the business 
of the editors is to give the authorities for each variation 
as clearly as possible, with such references as may throw 
light on the subject and vindicate the reading adopted. 
This part of the work was the more laborious ; it does 
not indeed take long to arrange the variations of MSS. in 
a verse ; but to collect and verify the Patristic quotations 
would be slow work even if the Fathers were all well 
indexed ; and as most of them are very badly indexed,^ 
the performance of this most necessary task takes up an 
amount of time out of all proportion to the visible result ; 
" Augusiinus (semper) " does not take long to read, or to 
write, after a word ; but it takes a great deal of research 
to be able to write it with any confidence. This collection 
of data became the part of the work for which I was 
responsible ; it was, as I have said, the more laborious 
part ; but it was also the easier, the more elementary, 
the more mechanical ; it could be soon learnt, and was 
just the proper work and training for a beginner. Far 
harder was the task of deciding on the right reading where 
the authorities were evenly balanced, where MSS. of the 
same family parted company, or where the vast majority 
of MSS. favoured a piece of impossible Latinity. This 
was the Bishop's share ; I would prepare the case, and 
he would decide on the reading. This would usually 
mean re-writing the whole note, in any important case ; 
and it would be fairly correct to say that in the earlier 
fasciculi all the short notes are mine, and all the long ones 
are the Bishop's. Yet the division was not absolute ; 

1 This is true not only of the early editions but of some quite modern 
work ; e.g. the index to Cyprian in the Vienna Corpus Scr. Eccl. 
Latinorum leaves much to be desired. 


constantly his eye for literary neatness and his sound 
scholarship would suggest a better arrangement in a short 
note or add just the one reference to a classical author 
which would make it complete ; while he would always 
listen with patience and attention to my views on questions 
of reading and the general arrangement of the work. 
Throughout our long and happy partnership he was abso- 
lutely frank, whether in pointing out mistakes, and 
mistakes which I ought not to have made, or in giving 
credit for anything good in what I did ; at times, indeed, 
he would adopt my suggestions with an alacrity that was 
almost embarrassing. 

Most of the Praefatio and of the Epilogus to the 
Gospels was written by the Bishop or, more strictly 
speaking, dictated. In Latin composition he would 
sometimes dictate as rapidly as I could write, while 
at other times he would hesitate for long until he 
had found exactly the right word or expression ; and he 
never despised the use of an English-Latin dictionary, 
if it would save time. 

So the work went on for nine happy years. It was 
perhaps inevitable that it should grow as it proceeded ; 
the footnotes became longer and longer, mainly by the 
inclusion of the Old-Latin readings, and (in Acts and 
Romans) of quotations from the Fathers ; the readings 
of the Old-Latin MSS. were introduced sparingly in St. 
Matthew and St. Mark, more fully in St. Luke, and com- 
pletely (I trust) in St. John. I think, though I am not 
certain, that this was one of the oases in which the Bishop 
yielded to my pleadings, and that he himself would have 
preferred a less exhaustive apparatus criticus ; and there 
is no doubt that the edition would have progressed more 
rapidly had the other New Testament book;s been done on 
the same scale as St. Matthew and St. Mark. But on this 
point I am impenitent ; the later fasciculi are, for purposes 


of reference, much more useful than the earher, and I 
rarely consult the first two Gospels without wishing they 
had been treated on the St. John scale. 

Even with the smaller apparatus the work took much 
longer than the Bishop anticipated. When I came to 
Salisbury he was hoping that the Gospels might be com- 
pleted in a year's time, and the rest of the New Testament 
at an even quicker pace. Yet St. Matthew was not 
published till 1889 ; then followed St. Mark in 1891 ; 
St. Luke in 1893 ; St. John in 1895 ; the Epilogus, 
completing the first volume, in 1898. This first volume, 
containing the Gospels, was dedicated by permission to 
Queen Victoria ; a copy was also presented to Pope 
Leo XIIL, and was acknowledged by him in a letter so 
gracious that it aroused the alarm of the more Protestant 
Church newspapers. But the progress of the edition was 
further delayed by other calls upon the Bishop's time 
and energy; the later chapters of this biography will 
show how constant and increasing these calls were. It 
is true that as years went on I became able to do more by 
myself ; but still his supervision and correction were 
always needed. He would come into the Vulgate room 
whenever he could, and at a moment's notice throw the 
best of himself into the work. Knotty points were also 
discussed during country walks ; and sometimes when he 
was in the midst of other business he would surprise his 
companions with a remark or question which showed 
where his mind was. One day on going to service in 
the Cathedral he suddenly asked a country rector if he 
could remember any cases of ellipse of the predicate in 
the Latin New Testament. The following extracts 
from a speech delivered as late as 1903 collect and express 
conclusions which had been gathering in his mind during 
many years, and had often been discussed with me and 
with other friends :— 


^ " The Bishop said that reference had been made to the 
work which Mr. White and himself had been doing for some 
years. That study had certainly brought home some general 
principles to his mind. No two persons could have a greater 
respect or regard for St. Jerome than Mr. White and himself ; 
but St. Jerome constantly irritated them by his superficiality 
and his neglect of that principle of using the same word in 
Latin for the same word in Greek. ... If St. Jerome had 
followed it his version would have been a very much better 
one than it actually was. He did not, as he ought to have 
done, fe-translate the New Testament. He was afraid of his 
contemporaries, and that timidity on his part had cost the 
Church more than he (the Bishop) could possibly say. If he 
had re-translated the New Testament with that power of 
expression of which he was a great master, he would have done 
a service to the Church higher than we could easily estimate. 
He would not say that the Reformation would not have been 
necessary, but he would say that St. Paul would have been 
understood by the early Christians in the Western Church, 
and would have been appreciated and loved and used when, 
owing to the fact that St. Jerome only used a very imperfect 
translation of St. Paul's Epistles, and did not properly revise 
the translation so made, St. Paul was never properly under- 
stood in the Western Church until the Reformation. He 
did not mean to say that there were no great men who under- 
stood him ; but St. Paul's arguments and ideas did not 
penetrate into the masses of the people as they might have 
done. There was another thing, suggested to him by what 
Mr. Bebb said, ' Oh, if we could only interrogate St. Jerome 
for a few minutes ! ' That was a feeHng Mr. White and 
himself often had. If he had only made it unnecessary for 
them to interrogate him, by not using vague generahties, 
by telling them plainly what he had done and what he had 
not done, and further by informing them not only that he 
had used old manuscripts, but where they came from, and the 
dates, and the rest of it ! " 

Still further delay was caused, I am afraid, by my 

^ Speech at Bristol Church Congress, i6th October, 1903 ; see 
Salisbury Diocesan Gazette, 1903, p. 200. 


removal to Oxford in 1895, when I was appointed Chaplain 
and Tutor of Merton College. From that time onwards, 
and when I left Oxford for King's College, London, in 
1905, we could only meet together for work in the Vaca- 
tions. In the summer I would come to Salisbury, stay 
at the Church House, collect the necessary books round 
me, and get through a respectable amount of the text ; 
and the Bishop would escape from letters and Diocesan 
business at the Palace, and join me whenever he could. 
His memory and powers of concentration were wonderful ; 
when he came into my room he seemed always to remember 
the exact spot at which we had left off the last time, and 
I have known him leave the Church House with a half- 
finished sentence on his lips and come back the next day 
finishing it. During Term time, I continued the work at 
Oxford or in London and sent him the copy, chapter 
by chapter, to Salisbury ; this he would read very care- 
fully, paying especial attention to passages I had marked ; 
and he would return it with a promptitude not always 
shown in his general correspondence ; arguments or 
explanations which had been put forward in rather 
clumsy English came back, if he approved of them, in 
most excellent Latin. Similarly with the proof sheets ; 
he would leave the verification of the data and references 
to me ; but he had an eagle eye for misprints, awkward 
punctuation, uneven type, etc., and he had an instinctive 
sense of how a footnote ought to run, and how it could be 
corrected with a minimum of disturbance to the type. 
Printers are not immaculate, even at the Clarendon Press, 
and occasionally some sheet would contain a really 
awkward blunder. On such occasions the Bishop was, I 
think, genuinely happy. He loved to calculate the 
number of lines and letters, and utilise the space to be 
saved or filled up to the best advantage ; and more than 
one piece of valuable information in the notes owes its 


position to the fact that three or four lines had been can- 
celled, and the space could not be left vacant. 

But it was slow work ; the Acts were not published 
till 1905, and the Epistle to the Romans appeared in 1913, 
two years after his death ; the large amount of prefatory 
matter to the Pauline Epistles in Vulgate MSS. took 
years to collect and arrange ; but it was so valuable that 
it could not be neglected in any edition aiming at complete- 
ness. The Bishop spent many an hour over the proofs, 
though he did not live to see the fasciculus published, 
and the Romans represents a great deal of his work, indeed 
of his very best work. 

Another circumstance delayed the publication of this 
fasciculus by two years ; this was the preparation of the 
editio minor. In 1907 and 1908 the British and Foreign 
Bible Society began negotiations with the Bishop and the 
Clarendon Press for the issue of a hand-edition of the 
Vulgate New Testament, the text of which was to be 
that of the Oxford critical edition ; it was not, however, 
till 1910 that the work was definitely taken in hand. 
The edition was to contain our text, as printed in the 
editio maior, up to the end of the Romans ; after that, 
it was decided to form a provisional text on the basis 
of some eight or nine of the MSS. which experience had 
taught us to consider most valuable ; and short footnotes 
were to be added throughout, giving the authorities for 
the more important variant readings. The preparation of 
this edition lay almost entirely in my hands, though I must 
acknowledge with thanks the help given by Mr. Youngman 
and other friends in the correction of the proof sheets. ^ 

^ The editio minor was published both by the Bible Society and by the 
Clarendon Press ; Novum Testamentum Latine secundum editimiem 
S. Hieronymi ad codicum manuscriptorum fidem recensuerunt f Joh. 
Wordsworth, S.T.P. . . . et H. J. White, A.M., S.T.P. Editio minor 
curante Henrico J. White. Oxonii : e typographeo Clarendoniano. 
Londini : apiid Societatem Bibliophilorum Britannicam et externam 


The Bishop was also consulted on all the harder questions 
of reading, and he took the deepest interest in the work, 
reading the proofs regularly and expressing himself with 
all his wonted decision on every unnecessary comma or 
capital letter. He had promised to write the Latin 
preface, and in the second week of August, 1911, I 
forwarded him the material ; but on the morning of the 
1 6th his chaplain returned it with a note to say that the 
Bishop was too tired to undertake the task ; and before 
the note was delivered in London I had received a telegram 
with the news of his death. 

No chapter on the Vulgate can close without some 
reference to the enterprise now undertaken by the Bene- 
dictine Order, in the preparation of a critical edition of 
the whole Bible ; though the new Catholic Encyclopaedia 
prints a full account of that enterprise without a word 
of reference to the work of the Bishop of Salisbury. 

In the spring of 1907 it was announced that Pius X. 
had determined to begin preparations for a critical edition 
of the Latin Bible ; the need for such a revision had been 
recognised in the Church of Rome for some time, and 
in fact it had formed one item in the programme of the 
Biblical Commission established by Leo XHI. In May, 
1907, the Benedictine Order were formally requested by 
Pius X. to undertake the first stages of the revision ; and 
the Order accepted the arduous but honourable task ; 
Abbot (now Cardinal) Gasquet was appointed the head of 
a small Commission of Benedictines to organise the work. 
They have, in accordance with the Pope's wishes, begun 
an exhaustive examination of the European libraries, so 
as to get, as far as may be, a complete catalogue of all 
existing Vulgate MSS. ; and they are systematically 
collating or photographing the most important of them. 
The results of their work are stored in the College of 


St. Anselmo at Rome, which must now contain the finest 
collection of Vulgate material in Europe. No revised 
text of any book of the Bible has, however, been published 
so far ; and considering the colossal scale on which the 
work is being planned, it is not likely that much can be 
published in the way of results for many years to come. 




The offer of the see had been quite unexpected, and the 
Wordsworths had spent the Saturday, on the evening of 
which it reached them, in contradicting the news of the 
appointment, which the Standard had somehow obtained 
and announced. The spirit in which he accepted it is 
shown in his letter to the Warden of Keble.^ 

" You can judge with what a weight of anxiety it was 
done. My heart was in a tumult and the services and sermon 
had to be gone through as usual. One's own utter worth- 
lessness so oppressive, and yet the consciousness of never 
having wished, much less moved a finger to bring it about was 
a relief. And God has been so good to me all my life in the 
midst of many sins that I could not think Him failing now ; 
but perhaps it is only that the punishment, when it comes, 
may be more severe — the punishment of failure and the 
remorse for taking a place that some one would have filled 
better. I think this is what I most dread, and most should 
want you to pray may not be the case, for the sake of the 
Church even more than mine. The break-up of old ties is 
terrible. We never know how much we draw from our 
surroundings. The wealth of love and sympathy here and 
at Oxford has enabled us to wear a greater show of strength 
than we really possess ; and then to have to direct and to 
decide difficult points without you at hand to talk it over 
will be very hard. You are like a book on the shelf — a comfort 
even when not read." 

1 Now Bishop of Winchester. Dated 17th August, 1885. 


By the same post Mrs. Wordsworth wrote to Mrs. 
Talbot :— 

" I don't think I ever felt so miserable, so utterly and 
entirely inadequate. I know it sounds faithless, and John 
keeps saying, ' As thy day, so shall thy strength be,' but then 
one thinks one must have been acting a part even to get into 
the danger of such a position. You will, I know, pray for us. 
I don't think you ever saw two more deplorable beings. The 
people here are all so good and kind ; there is a perfect wail 
at losing us. But how shall I leave Oxford ? . . . How shall 
I ever manage a dinner party ? Or a man servant ? " 

Such fears sound strange in view of her success as a 
leader and a hostess in the diocese and the palace. In a 
somewhat lighter mood she wrote to a sister-in-law :• — 

" Surely this is one of life's mysteries. Here am I, totally 
unable to dechne a position for which I know I am most unfit, 
physically and mentally, not to say morally. It is very 
strange, and yet I have to look at it as a call. I hope, as 
Mr. Sewell ^ used to say at whist, ' Do give your partner credit 
for some good cards, Susie, and trust to his play to pull you 
through,' that John will be enough for both of us. At present 
I fear I shall only pull him down." 

The future Bishop presents another aspect of the case 
to a Brasenose colleague, Mr. C. A. Whittuck ^ : — 

" Your most kind and generous letter is a great help to me. 
I cannot answer it at length as I could wish. You can easily 
imagine how strange and weak and unfit I feel, yet I venture 
to throw myself on God's mercy in undertaking this heavy 
charge. I know from the inside what it is, and at least, I 
trust, have no feelings of elation about it. When a man has 
neither parents nor children he estimates Hfe perhaps more 
honestly and simply as a small space of probation in which 

1 Either the founder of Radley, or his brother, the Warden of 
New College. 

* Now Vicar of St. Mary's, Oxford. Dated " in the train," 24th 
August, 1885. 


God is disciplining us for something better. If I had children 
I should probably be very ambitious or at least anxious. 
Now we feel (for you know what my wife is) that we have 
merely to do the best we can, with God's help, and take no 
thought for the morrow. I have written more than I wished 
about myself, but your kind letter seemed to draw it." 

He was consecrated in Westminster Abbey on the day 
of St. Simon and St. Jude, the 28th October, which was 
the first anniversary^ of his mother's death. ^ Canon Jelf, 
he records, preached " a good sermon, ^ in a clear, nice 
voice, and every one was most kind and loving." 

On the 30th October he did homage to Queen Victoria 
at Balmoral. 

" With his sense of the fitness of things and dignity of 
of&ce he sent in a request to her Majesty that he might come 
and pay homage in his robes. The usual custom, I beheve, 
was that after dinner the Bishops went in in evening dress, 
which he thought unseemly. The Queen quite hked and 
approved of the idea. Probably they always do that cere- 
moniously now." ^ 

At Balmoral he began to copy his father's book of 
private devotions. This volume, which he copied again 
in 1890, recorded names of kinsfolk and friends whom the 
younger man can never have known and distant incidents 
in the lives of Wordsworths and Freres. In prayer and 
intercession it was often quaint and even strained, and 
it contained many apophthegms, original as well as 
borrowed. Altogether it was characteristic of Christopher 

1 By Archbishop Benson, Bishops Temple of London, Browne of 
Winchester, Thorold of Rochester, Ridding of Southwell, King of 
Lincoln, and Trollope of Nottingham, his father's suffragan. 

2 The Strength of the Bishop and the Church (Isa. lii. i). A 
sermon preached ... at the consecration of the Lord Bishop of 
Salisbury by George Edward Jelf, M.A., Canon of Rochester and Rector 
of Chatham. Published by request. London, Walter Smith, 1885. 

s From the Rev. G. F. Hooper, St. Oswald's, Worcester, a very 
intimate friend of the Bishop. His homage was at 10.30 a.m. 


and not of John Wordsworth. All was dutifully copied, 
and a corresponding record of the son's own life and 
interests made on the opposite page, which was being 
enriched till the end of his life. The most important 
part of the father's book was a list of " Agenda avv 0e(o," 
which the son loyally took for his own guidance. None 
of them is more significant than the last ; — 

" N.B. never to say ' my diocese,' ' my clergy.' They 
are not thine, but Christ's. Say 'Diocese of Lincoln,' 

This direction was scrupulously followed by Bishop 
John Wordsworth, sometimes even at the cost of awk- 
wardness or circumlocution. In his last public letter to 
the clergy and laity, on Ascension Day, 1911, he spoke 
of " our examining chaplains " ; the plural here is not 
of majesty. 

The Bishop went down to Salisbury and was enthroned 
on the 4th November. Mrs. Wordsworth's letters to 
her friends picturesquely describe the scene. 

" The weather was most unkindly, but a bright gleam 
shone upon him as he entered the throne. It was a very 
impressive service, and he looked grand in his great scarlet 
robe.^ It was very toucliing to hear his father's hymn, 
' Hark ! the sound of holy voices,' come nearer and nearer up 
the nave,2 and it was very wonderful to see him kneeling 
at the altar. ..." 

There was an unexpected ceremony in the service. 
As a son of Christopher Wordsworth and a friend of 
Bishop Benson he had naturally studied the statutes of 
his Cathedral, and he found himself directed by them to 
perform an act that had long been pretermitted. He did 
not flinch. 

" The kiss given by Bishop to Dean and Chapter in the 

1 His father's Cambridge Convocation robe, which is really a cope. 
' It was sung again at his funeral. 



From a photograph by Elliott & Fry. 


Chapter House I am almost glad I did not see," writes Mrs. 
Wordsworth. " It must have been so very funny, but you 
can hardly realise how delighted they all were at getting it. 
Generally it has been confined to the Dean, but as the instruc- 
tions are ' Dean and Chapter,' he went bravely through.^ 
Then came the great Mayor's lunch ; every one charmed with 
his speech, and he had no notes even, and when he got up 
he didn't in the least know what he was going to say, but 
as you will see it was very good. Then a tremendous gathering 
to meet him in the old Church House, and then it was time to 
think of the Pastoral for the next day, so he went back to the 
Palace and I grieve to say sat up till 2.30 writing it." 

The " Pastoral " was to be the chief topic of his 
address to the Greater Chapter, a body which he took very 
seriously throughout his episcopate. The revival of this 
" Consilium Episcopi " was, indeed, one of the " Agenda 
avv Ge^) " which he borrowed from his father. He sum- 
moned them to meet in the Chapter House on the day 
after the enthronement. 

" As many of them came from many miles away," Mrs. 
Wordsworth wrote, " he thought he could not ask them to come 
again, and so consulted them then. The sight had not been 
seen for over a hundred years of a Bishop addressing his 
Greater Chapter. Forty-eight, I think they were, dear old 
things from all corners of Wilts and Dorset." 

He submitted to them the letter he proposed to address 
to the diocese. It was cast in the form of a Pauline 

" To the Reverend the Clergy, the Churchwardens, the 
Synodsmen, and the whole brotherhood of Christian people 
within the Diocese of Salisbury, John, by Divine per- 
mission, Bishop of Salisbury, greering. Grace to you and 
peace and joy in the Holy Ghost be multiplied. I thank God 
always. Brethren beloved in the Lord, for your steadfastness 
1 At the enthronement of Dr. F. E. Ridgeway, 8th November, 191 1, 
" Welcome was given by shaking of hands." 



in the faith and union in works of love of which I hear in every 
quarter, so that now for many years you are an example to 
the flock of Christ." 

So it began. It dealt, in view of an impending General 
Election, with the right use of the pulpit at such times, 
with the questions of establishment and endowment, 
with the restoration of churches, giving a warning, more 
necessary then than now, of — 

" the danger lest anything that does not suit the taste of the 
day should be sold or even destroyed as of no account. We 
must not despise the last century because it is not the 
thirteenth century, much less must we destroy the work of 
the period of the Reformation and Restoration." 

But the most characteristic announcement was that of 
his views concerning patronage ; views which he had the 
satisfaction of seeing generally approved, and ultimately 
embodied in legislation. But, though others sympathised. 
Bishop John Wordsworth was the first to take the risk 
of action. 

" I think that further restriction of the rights of patronage, 
whether pubUc or private, is absolutely essential to the well- 
being of the Church, and that this is a proper time to claim it. 
I would not abolish patronage, or give it to the dioceses or 
parishes, but I would give them at least the right to make 
representations and to be heard in opposition to an appoint- 
ment of which they disapproved. ... I myself see difficulties 
in wholly forbidding the sale of advowsons, but I would require 
such sales to be always publicly registered, and if I had the 
power I would not allow a patron to present himself. I would 
wholly forbid the sale of next presentations or of the life 
interest in advowsons, and I would of course make all donatives 
presentative. As a proof of my own willingness to act and 
to take responsibility in this matter, I will mention what I 
intend to do in the case of every clerk presented to me for 
institution. I shall defer institution in all cases for the twenty- 
eight days in which a Bishop is allowed by the canon to make 


objection to a patron's nomination. I shall equally do so 
in cases when I myself collate to a benefice. I shall endeavour 
in this period to acquaint myself with the whole past history 
of the clerk, so presented to me, since his ordination. If I 
have reason to doubt his fitness I shall make free use of my 
legal right to examine him as to the sufficiency of his knowledge 
and the soundness of his faith. I shall endeavour also to 
devise some plan for giving the communicants of the parish 
to which he is nominated an opportunity of making any valid 
legal objection, since their interest in the matter so far surpasses 
that of any other persons, except indeed that of the Bishop. 
For, my Brethren, I need not remind you that Institution is 
a very solemn act by which a Bishop delegates to another a 
portion of the spiritual jurisdiction and oversight committed 
to himself ; and if he admits an unworthy man he is responsible 
in the sight of God.^ I feel sure that most Patrons only need 
to be reminded of this once for all, and that when once they 
understand it they will do their best to help a Bishop in bearing 
the heavy burden laid upon him. For my own part, I am 
prepared, if need be, to suffer loss in resisting improper appoint- 
ments if any such should be attempted, feehng sure that, even 
if I should be mulcted by a Civil Court the Church will be a 
hundredfold the gainer, and that, according to our Master's 
promise, I should not be a loser even in this world." 

It was a bold step for a new-fledged Bishop to 
announce a course of action, the necessity of which 
was not yet generally recognised, even among the well- 
disposed, and there was a real danger, as will appear, 
both of unpopularity and of litigation. In a footnote 
to the Pastoral Letter he assumed responsibility for its 
contents, though he says that " its spirit is generally, 
and I believe heartily, approved by the Chapter." Their 
share is more precisely indicated in a letter of the Bishop 
to his friend the Warden of Keble ^ : — 

1 There was something very impressive in the way he said, " Accipe 
curam meam et tuam " at an Institution. 
' r4th November, 1885. 


" Some things I had put more strongly, but modified them 
in deference to friends in the Chapter, where I succeeded in 
convincing them that I wanted not compHments but counsel. 
Of course I kept the result in my own hands by putting nothing 
to the vote. ... I have constantly to repeat Marcus Aurelius' 

words, pXiire. fir] airoKaicrapoi6ys (or a.TroeTTLcrKOTrwOrj';) fxr] ^a^^s. 

ytveTat ydp.^ But the sensc of goodness and brotherly kind- 
ness all round us happily overpowers everything, and there 
are the scandals and weaknesses of the Church as well as one's 
own bad thoughts and blunders to keep one humble." 

At this point it may be well to consider the Bishop's 
conception of the office on which he was entering ; and, 
since his views never changed, it shall be illustrated from 
utterances of all periods of his episcopate. It was a very 
high one. On the doctrinal side it was that of St. Ignatius 
of Antioch ; on the practical, there seemed to be no limit 
to its scope. For he had a profound belief not only in 
the opportunities of the office, but in the gifts of its 
occupants. He was convinced of their wisdom, knowledge, 
and energy, and also assured that they had a common 
outlook, which they shared with the prelates of the past. 
The confidence, indeed, with which he assumed that 
medieval Bishops, who were statesmen or soldiers, had 
the same range of interests as himself was sometimes 
astonishing. In this loyalty to his order there was some- 
thing of heroic illusion ; but when he could not admire 
their conduct he was sterner against Bishops than against 
other men. If a Bishop fell short of the standard, or if 
a person unequal to the task accepted the office. Bishop 
Wordsworth's censure was grave. 

Bishops for him were a class, and must behave as a 
class. His ideal for the government of the Church was 
that of Archbishop Benson, not that of Archbishop Tait. 

1 Comment, vi. 30. " See that thou be not transformed into a 
(mere) Emperor — or Bishop — lest thou be stained. The thing happens." 


They must take counsel together/ and act together. In 
the words of the present Archbishop of Canterbury, " a 
Bishop's position in the Church of England of to-day is 
not a local one." ^ Holding this national position, and 
consulting together for the welfare of the Church, they are 
a cabinet, 3 and therefore must be few in number. Bishop 
Wordsworth certainly regarded an English diocesan Bishop 
as a figure equally conspicuous with a Cabinet Minister, 
and would express surprise and sorrow when a layman, 
or even a schoolboy, was ignorant of the name of one 
among the less prominent members of his order. 

If diocesan Bishops must be few, their dioceses must 
be large. This he regarded as a thing desirable in itself. 
A Bishop ought to have behind him the weight of an 
important portion of the Church, that he may speak 
with its authority as well as his own ; and if it be large, 
it will furnish him with an adequate field for the exercise 

^ In his earlier days Bishop Wordsworth had not fully learned this 
lesson, and the Archbishop vigorously inculcated it. 

" Lambeth Palace, 

" 8th May, 1887, 
" Dearest Bishop, 

" You can't come to Bishops' meeting, because of engage- 
ments sometime made. But do let me remind you that the Bishops' 
meeting was fixed last July, and that you were supplied with a printed 
sheet — stating the same. 

" And that if the Bishops set aside these solemn Church engagements 
for diocesan ones — there is no wonder that the Church is lacking in 
corporate life, and that the Parishes follow the example of the Diocesans 
— and live for themselves. 

" Do excuse me for saying that I think it very sad indeed and fraught 
with evil omens. 

" Ever your most affectionate, 

" Edw. Cantuar." 

* From a letter in Dr. Mason's Life of Bishop Wilkinson, II., p. 4. 

* I owe this illustration to a late honoured friend, Mr. J. R. Williams 
of Chester, and of Treffos in Anglesey, sometime representative of the 
diocese of Bangor in the House of Laymen. Though I do not remember 
the Bishop using it, it exactly describes his view. 


of his function as a teacher. England is happy, he thought, 
in having dioceses which are both considerable in area 
and graced with historical associations. He was not 
averse from a moderate increase in their number. He 
preached, for instance, on behalf of the revived see of 
Bristol, but he did his best to detach from it and restore 
to Salisbury the 8i parishes and 80,000 souls of North 
Wilts whom the Ecclesiastical Commission had separated 
from their original see. In 1892 he printed for private 
circulation a " Memorandum on the possible reunion of 
the deaneries of Malmesbury, Chippenham, and Cricklade 
in the County of Wilts with the Diocese of Salisbury," 
in which he sets forth his reasons. They are more briefly 
given in some private memoranda written in 1890 : — 

"In his [Bishop Denison's] days the diocese underwent a 
great change. Up till the reign of Henry VIII. and the 
foundation of the Bishopric of Bristol in 1542 the diocese 
consisted of the three counties Berks, Wilts, and Dorset. 
Henry VIII. detached Dorset and united it to Bristol. In 
r837 Berks was attached to Oxford, carrying with it, as many 
think unfairly, the Chancellorship of the Garter, and Dorset 
was reunited very properly to Wilts. The great mistake was 
to separate the deaneries of Malmesbury and Chippenham 
in North Wilts from the rest of the county. I beHeve that 
this has injured the life of the diocese much more than would 
at first sight be easily conceived. The distraction of county 
interests from diocesan is a lamentable cause of coldness 
among those who look to the more secular side of things, 
and especially the loss of a great town like Swindon, as a 
training place for clergy and a sphere for all sorts of diocesan 
works of piety and mercy, can never be too much deplored. 
That Malmesbury and Lacock should be separated from 
Salisbury is miserable, i^ not to say humiliating. We have 
lost much too in losing Berkshire, and perhaps Berkshire 
has never thoroughly been united to its new allies. It will 
no doubt some day have a see of its own to make up to it, 
^ Both have important monastic remains. 


but I fear that there is no hope of recovermg our Alsace and 
Lorraine, as Bishop Moberly used to call them, in North Wilts. 
Nor do I wish to see a county see in either Wilts or Dorset 
by itself. Dorset has, however, thank God ! become firmly 
united to the see." 

Even in 1904 he resumed the topic in a sermon in 
his Cathedral,! and had found a, fresh reason for regret. 

" Bishop Denison, in his first Visitation Charge, delivered 
in 1839, referred to this severance as one for which he saw 
' no adequate reason,' and stated that he, in common with 
all parties locally concerned, endeavoured to preserve the 
integrity of the county and the old ecclesiastical organisation, 
but in vain. Bishops of Salisbury have, I think, always had 
the same feehng since on this subject, and the recent develop- 
ment of local government, and the stimulus given to county 
patriotism,^ have increased the regret which Churchmen 
may naturally feel at this dismemberment of the county." 

He was willing, then, even to welcome an increase of 
his responsibilities. When, towards the end of his life, 
it was suggested, perhaps rather irresponsibly, that steps 
should be taken for the creation of a diocese of Dorset, 
his dislike for such a scheme was so well known that its 
authors, discreetly if not quite courteously, launched 
it without informing the Bishop. He had no mind to 
be what " S. G. O.," himself a Dorset incumbent, had 
called a " gig-Bishop," busily engaged in perambulating 
a narrow district, a great man in small matters, lost in 
a crowd of prelates none of whom carried decisive weight 
in the counsels of the Church. The outcome of such a 
system would be an almost papal predominance of 
Canterbury ; and against what seemed encroachments 
from that quarter he was, we shall see, quite ready to 
protest. But he did not take the burden lightly. He 

^ Diocesan Gazette, 1904, p. 204 : sermon of i6th October. 
* By the County Councils Act. 


recognised that it was his duty to acquire a full personal 
knowledge of parishes and clergy, and thanks to assiduous 
visitation and an excellent memory he did in fact attain 
it. He could also, in hi? detached position, turn his know- 
ledge to account. He would imperturbably insist, in 
spite of local outcries, upon the union, which he knew to 
be desirable, of two small parishes. The greatness of his 
station enabled him to disregard the prejudices of the 
moment and the agitation of local celebrities. The same 
detachment led him (sometimes not without inflicting 
hardship) to prefer the interest of a parish to that of an 
elderly incumbent who wished to retire from his work. 
He was apt in such cases to refuse or to diminish the ex- 
pected pension. He looked at such problems broadly, 
regarding the general and not the particular interest. 

But he also attempted with much seriousness what 
seemed to him the higher duty of moulding his diocese, 
and giving it a corporate conscience and a common ideal. 
That was a task not rendered more difficult by the numbers 
to whom he made his appeal ; the number only made 
the appeal better worth making. He made it the more 
earnestly because he idealised the relation between 
Bishop and people. Addressing his Synod of clergy in 
1888 he gives his reason for not making a formal oration : — 

" We meet to-day as quite old friends — old and attached 
friends, I think — and, as you all know, it is the privilege 
of friends not to talk very much when they meet. Our 
friendship, of course, is very different from the friendship of 
men of the world, or of persons who are united only by the 
ordinary ties which join man to man. It is not a friendship 
which comes from early associations and similarity of taste 
or unity of interests in business associations, or social expedi- 
ency ; it is a friendship which comes to us from a sense of 
being under a law and principle of discipline, which principle 
of discipline is part of the eternal fitness of things. We are 
naturally lifted above the concerns of this life into the life of 


God, and therefore our friendship in meeting on this occasion 
is not like a mere shell or husk which will be thrown off as soon 
as we leave this place, but it is something which has an abiding 
presence with us and accompanies us when we enter into our 
chambers and kneel down before God, or when we kneel side 
by side, as dear Mr. Barnes ^ said, ' the knower speechless to 
the known.' " 

Twenty years later he gave to the Synod of Clergy, 
assembled after the Lambeth Conference of 1908 to 
consider its resolutions, a reasoned exposition of the 
relation between Bishop and clergy as he conceived it, 
and drew a vigorous moral. He is explaining why, for 
the third time, he has summoned such an assembly : — 

" This regular consultation of the clergy is not merely 
an accident or a tradition. It permeates, as a principle, the 
conception which I hold of our office, and which I have endea- 
voured to inculcate on yourselves. It has been one of the 
principal aims of my episcopate to make new clergy feel when 
they come to be instituted to a benefice or licensed to a curacy 
that they are, of their own free will, joining a religious society 
or brotherhood. This thought I am in the habit of con- 
necting, as many here will remember, with the oath of 
' canonical obedience.' According to my interpretation that 
oath is taken to the Bishop, as superior of the Society of which 
the beneficed and licensed clergy are members, in one word, 
are canons or canonical persons, not monks. ' Canonical 
obedience ' is a moral and personal thing Uke ' true obedience.' 
It is obedience such as befits a canonical person. It is not 
obedience to the rules or canons of the Church, as some, rather 
trivially, explain it. These rules are binding on the clergy, 
whether a man promise to obey them or not. The word 
' canonical ' is, in this sense, derived from Kavwv, signifying 
a roll or register, rather than from Kavwv in the sense of a rule. 
Canonical obedience is that due from a man on the clerical 
roU to him whose name stands at the head of it, under whom he 
chooses to place himself. No doubt many come into the 

1 The Dorset poet. 


Society in an accidental and almost careless way, though 
others, thank God, do not. It is my business to see that, 
however they come, they know what they are doing as soon 
as possible, and realise the duties and responsibihties of this 
holy fellowship. Much may be done to illustrate this reality 
through careful visitations, through the constant brotherly 
activity of Archdeacons and Rural Deans, through the 
Diocesan Gazette, and many other hke ways. But surely no 
way is so sure — though from the nature of the case it cannot 
be a very frequent opportunity — as a Synod such as we hold 
to-day, when all have the right to come, when we meet for a 
common Eucharist, common prayers, common counsel, and 
as far as possible for a simple, common meal. 

" If time allowed I should hke to develop this thought 
of our diocesan brotherhood and its relation to other ties. Such 
ties, of course, exist, binding us all to the Province, the 
National Church, the Anglican Communion, the Cathohc 
Church of Christ. But the best way generally of reahsing these 
ties is to be true to the immediate claims upon us. ' He 
that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in much.' 
To be unjust in regard to our diocesan brotherhood at the 
bidding of party societies, large or small, or in the interest 
of some theory, is to be unjust to the whole Church. Partisan 
societies, partisan religious publications have become the 
noxious solvents of clerical brotherhood and the enemies of 
united progress. Such societies may have once served some 
purpose in organising opinion with some energy when a sense 
of corporate life in the Church was decayed. Now that corpo- 
rate Hfe is visibly growing they are an anachronism, and I 
beheve that many of the younger clergy perceive this, and are 
wisely abstaining from joining them. I wish some of the elder 
ones would cease from blowing their old-fashioned trumpets 
and waving their worn-out banners. I wish also that some of 
the younger clergy did not now and then claim exemption from 
obedience to the plain directions and the yet plainer traditions 
of the Church of England, and defend themselves by appeal to 
what they call Cathohc rule and custom. Immediate Church 
authority — speaking in a reasonable and fatherly manner — 


is to us the voice of the Catholic Church, unless, indeed, we 
are believers in Vaticanism." 

That " immediate Church authority " was himself. 
He conceived that he had the duty, and also the ability, 
to guide the minds of clergy and also, so far as their case 
demanded it, of laity, and that on them lay a correspond- 
ing duty of accepting the guidance. Hence his hostility 
to journals and organisations which furnished the clergy 
with ideas inferior, he was sure, to those which he was 
supplying. If the double task, of supervision and of 
instruction, might seem overwhelming, as much might 
be said of other exacting offices. A diocesan Bishop, 
like an Attorney-General, by the act of assuming his 
functions asserts that he has the physical strength needed 
for their execution. Bishop Wordsworth would not have 
asked for pity, or have made over-work an excuse for 
ineffectiveness. His ideal was perhaps impossible of 
attainment. Perhaps also he did not take into account, 
in a scheme of governance which he deemed might be 
universal for the Church of England, of defects of know- 
ledge in some cases and of failure in health or energy in 
others. The comfort which Dr. Pusey is said to have 
given to a clergyman distressed by some utterance of 
Bishop Blomfield, that the theology of one who for many 
years has spent eight hours a day in business need not 
be taken too seriously, may still have its relevance. Grave 
difficulties may arise if dioceses, or even provinces of the 
Church, be moulded too perfectly after the pattern imposed 
upon them by some resolute leader. In spite of all, Bishop 
Wordsworth's was a noble ideal, religiously conceived 
and courageously attempted. 

But the Bishop was not, in his earlier days, content 
to guide the judgment of the clergy ; he wanted also 
personally to supervise the morals of their flock. In 
drawing up the articles of inquiry for his first Visitation, 


that of 1888, he consulted various forms in use elsewhere, 
and in one of them, that for the Lincolnshire Archdeaconry 
of Stow, he found a question that had been put in 1827, 
but which sounds thoroughly Jacobean. As adapted 
by the Bishop it ran : — 

" Are there any persons in your parish of scandalous life 
and conversation, whose cases should be reported to the Bishop 
[Canon 109] ? Detailed answers to this question should be 
written on a separate paper and presented to the Bishop in 
a sealed envelope at the time of the Visitation." 

The question, when it was distributed among the church- 
wardens, excited quite a storm. The Bishop might have 
foreseen this, for his Chancellor, Sir J. P. Deane, had 
warned him. But he had not been convinced. He wrote 
to Sir James Deane ^ : — 

" I am now pretty well acquainted with the churchwardens 
of this diocese, and I feel sure that in their answers they wiU 
be careful not to stir up bad blood. A Visitation is useless 
unless it tends to a better state of discipline than at present 
exists among us. I do not expect to get much on a first 
Visitation which is of value in reply to a question like this, but 
I believe, if God gives me strength to go on for a certain 
number of years, a gradual reform in public opinion may 
be worked in a small diocese like this where there is no town 
of over 15,000 people, except Salisbury, which is, I believe, 
under 16,000." 

The experiment was not repeated. 

1 gth February, 1888. 


SALISBURY, 1885-1894 

Bishop John Wordsworth entered on his office at the 
early age of forty-two. He combined a settled conser- 
vatism in serious matters with an almost boyish readiness 
to make experiments. We have seen him improving 
upon Queen Victoria's custom in receiving the homage 
of her Bishops ; nothing could have been more cha- 
racteristic. When his seal had to be designed, he would 
have it unlike others. Normally a Bishop's seal bears 
his own arms and those of his see in pale, or side by side. 
For his, the Virgin of Salisbury was liberated from her 
shield ; the Sistine Madonna stood with the three bells 
of the Wordsworths beneath her feet. The design was 
not less original and beautiful that there were certain 
medieval precedents. The Bishop worked the subject 
out, and made it the theme of a learned paper read 
before the Royal Archaeological Institute at its Salisbury 
meeting in 1887.^ But his desire to initiate was not 
confined to matters of detail. At his enthronement he 
asked all who were present " for their counsel as to found- 
ing something which would be an inheritance for the future 
to fit in and correspond with their inheritance in the 
past." He wished to be the rival of medieval founders, 
and he was, in fact, to have his measure of success. 

He sought a stimulus in the history of his diocese. 
From the first he identified himself with it. He never 

1 Archaeological Journal, xlv., pp. 22 ff. ; reprinted, 1888. 


spoke of Hooker but as " our great Salisbury theologian," 
and took an equal pride in calling to mind the fact that 
Jewell had been his own predecessor, and that Pearson, 
Barrow, and Butler had been prebendaries of Sarum. 
Perhaps at times he even combined their teaching with 
his own into something which might seem a characteristic 
local mode of thought. George Herbert, whose portrait 
he added to the Palace collection, had also this merit 
of a local connection, as had in the more distant past 
Hubert Walter and Robert Hallam, Bishops of Salisbury ; 
and it was with special pleasure that in later life he 
deciphered at Jerusalem the tombstone of a crusader 
who had been castellan of Devizes. 

This interest extended to all corners of the diocese, 
their forgotten worthies and their memorials of the past. 
He studied them with zeal during his visits, which were 
so actively pursued that within six years there were only 
sixteen churches and parishes with which he was not 
personally acquainted, and these small places annexed 
to others or else, in one or two cases, parishes so involved 
in difficulty that he could not wisely appear in them. The 
roomy carriage, drawn according to the dignified tradition 
of the see by two grey horses/ was a second home to 
both the Words worths. Of the friendships formed with 
clergy, connected with him by the canonical bond he 
rated so highly, the Bishop's notebooks give a record. 
The number of the children, their complexion, their 
schools, are constantly entered after a visit to some rectory ; 
and I think that an increasing interest may be marked 
in his later years in those of modest fortune. The diocese 
when he entered it had, perhaps, a larger number than 
now of clergy whose estate was that of country gentlemen, 
and though it could not be said of Salisbury, as of another 

1 Constantine and Julian, named after his most important articles 
in the Dictionary of Christian Biography. 

SALISBURY, 1885-1894 175 

diocese in the previous generation, that an honorary 
canon meant a clergyman who kept Jersey cows, the 
standing and the services of such men were worthily 
recognised. But Bishop Wordsworth came to note with 
special satisfaction in his private memoranda the successes 
of boys and girls who had won their way through difficulty 
and through sacrifice on their parents' part. His interest 
in parishes and in clergy was heightened by his old-world 
attitude of mind towards them. For him parish and priest 
formed an intimate combination. As to former genera- 
tions " Jones of Nayland " or " Sikes of Guilsborough " 
had been significant terms, so was it with him. 

But the centre of his interest was naturally his own 
home and its surroundings. A Bishop with a Cathedral 
of the Old Foundation has but a limited authority within 
its walls. Bishop Wordsworth, as it happened, was 
most happy in his relation with successive Deans and 
Canons. But the Cathedral rose, on one of its sides, 
directly out of his garden, and his Palace was worthy to 
be its neighbour. Miss Elizabeth Wordsworth has 
contributed a sketch, which will be of interest to readers 
who do not know Salisbury, of the home where, as she 
says, " it was his fate, as it is that of many other Bishops 
who have beautiful and venerable abodes, to spend 
comparatively little time." 

" The Palace is a curious architectural patchwork, and 
illustrates what Ruskin said of the medieval builders, that 
when they wanted to make additions to, or alterations in, 
their houses, they just made them as it suited them, without 
any regard to symmetry. In fact, while the Cathedral is 
exceptional among EngHsh Cathedrals as having been the work 
of one period and being all, practically, of one style of archi- 
tecture, the Palace is exactly the reverse. Here we find, in 
one fabric, the old Norman hall of Bishop Poore, the Late 
Gothic tower of Bishop Beauchamp, the chessboard-like 
fragments of old flint masonry here and there in the walls. 


the handsome modern staterooms as restored by Bishops 
Sherlock and Barrington on the first floor, the antique and 
somewhat comfortless stone-paved servants' quarters below, 
the picturesque Jacobean staircase of Seth Ward which leads 
to the principal bedrooms, including one called the Queen's 
Bedroom ^ because once occupied by the then Princess 
Victoria. Approximately to the same date belongs the wood- 
work of the chapel, a building interesting in itself, and especially 
as having been the scene of the ordination of Bishop Butler 
to the diaconate. The north front of the house is somewhat 
unattractive, unless we people it with the events of some 
busy moments of arrival or departure — the Bishop's carriage 
and pair of greys — or in later days his motor — waiting, 
usually until the last moment, while he has that final interview 
or hastily subscribes that one last note or letter ! Then in 
all haste he is whirled off to the railway station for the London 
train, or more Ukely to a church opening or confirmation at 
some remote point of the diocese. 

" But if the northern front of the house is somewhat 
forbidding, the southern more than atones for it. The whole 
wall of the house is covered with magnolias, myrtles, pome- 
granates, pyrus japonica, and other creepers. The magnolias 
and pomegranates in particular flower here as they only do 
in very favoured corners of England. A flat terrace runs 
the length of the house, and is bordered on both sides by turf, 
in which are beds of the richest and most brilliant flowers 
expanding in the sunshine. Stone steps, stone balustrades, 
here and there a hchen-grown stone vase give an old-world 
air to the spot ; as does a httle fountain, with water-Hlies and 
goldfish, in a stone basin beside the path and close to the 
balustrades. Beyond is a field, and a good-sized piece of water, 
the joy of winter skaters, and to the east a spacious kitchen 
garden. The starry celandine may be seen at the beech- 
tree roots in the early spring, and the garden never loses its 
loveHness till the last autumn rose has yielded to November 
frosts. Various quaint little staircases run up to the house 
from the terrace ; there is a porch covered with pale clustering 
roses and the doves may be seen and heard in its neighbourhood. 

" Among the windows which look out on the terrace and 
1 In this room Bishop Wordsworth died. 

SALISBURY, 1885-1894 177 

garden are those of the Bishop's study. If we had approached 
it from that side, we probably should have seen the big head 
surrounded with a halo of Hght, feathery hair, and the big 
black-coated figure, with its back to us, bending over the 
writing-table — a pile of books of reference on either side and 
the right hand hastily tracing in that familiar writing a few 
brief but carefuUy considered lines. Every bookcase was full 
to overflowing, but all was in careful order. Here were modern 
theological works ; there patristic ones ; here a large con- 
tingent of lexicons and encyclopedias ; here classics ; there 
history or helles lettres. In later years an entire bookcase 
was given over to Swedish and Scandinavian Hterature. The 
large central writing-table, an heirloom from Bishop Hamilton's 
days, having been a present to him from his uncle, ' Single- 
speech Hamilton,' was covered with methodically arranged 
papers ; and many more were carefully stowed away in 
receptacles under the table. A sofa faced the fire, probably 
occupied by a couple of worn leather traveUing bags, which 
were generally primed with the hterature or maps necessary 
for diocesan visits. Other interesting souvenirs were old- 
fashioned chairs which had belonged to Dr. Pusey and Bishop 
Moberly. A cupboard fuU of pigeon-holes, the gift of Mr. 
Gladstone to Bishop Hamilton, was near the further door. 
On the top of the bookcase, facing the study chair, was a 
bronze helmet with an archaic Greek inscription — ' To 
Olympian Jove ' — which had belonged to the Bishop's father. 
The drawing-room, a large and handsome apartment, is, Hke 
the dining-room, fuU of portraits of earher bishops, most of 
them wearing the insignia of the order of the Garter, which 
have now passed to the see of Oxford. Among these Burnet's 
handsome, dark-haired, and somewhat florid countenance is 
sure to catch the spectator's eye. Bishop Guest, to whom 
we owe a clause in the XXVIIIth Article, is also there in the 
attenuated lawn sleeves of his period. Henry Lawes, Milton's 
friend, though a layman is also represented, as weU as Bishop 
Jewell, Bishop Davenant, George Herbert, and others ^ ; and 
Sir W. Richmond's fine portrait of Bishop Moberly holds a 

^ The best is Beechey's portrait of Bishop Hume, who used the 
patronage of the see for the advancement of his family. The Bishop 
would often point out his keen and acquisitive features. 



conspicuous place. The elder Richmond's portrait of Bishop 
Hamilton also deserves special notice ; and to these in later 
5^ars was added Sir George Reid's masterly portrait of Bishop 
John Wordsworth himself, painted for the diocese. In the 
dining-room was a copy of Pickersgill's portrait of the poet 
Wordsworth, an admirable Hkeness by Eddis of the Bishop's 
mother, and an oil-painting by W. Logsdail of the South Porch 
of Lincoln Cathedral with minute but very cleverly hit-off 
portraits of Bishop Wordsworth of Lincoln and the artist's 
own father attending him as verger. The dining-room, Hke 
the drawing-room, extends the whole width of the house : 
in either case one window overlooks the garden, the other 
gives an unforgettable view of the Cathedral spire and the 
Chapter House, with a foreground of rich turf and cedar 
trees. To the spectator's left, as he gazes through this window, 
is the door into the cloisters ; the door which in his last 
illness tradition says Bishop Hamilton saw in a dream, with 
our Saviour standing there and calling him in. Along the 
gravel walk which leads from the garden into the cloisters, 
the late Bishop might habitually be seen at 7.25 every morning, 
when at home, on his way to early Mattins, and on Sunday 
at 10.30, preceded by a choir boy, known as the ' Bishop's 
boy,' whose office it was to summon him. The black-robed 
figure with white sleeves and rochet and scarlet hood made a 
striking point of colour among the soft greens and greys of 
the garden and the weather-stained architecture, especially 
when accompanied by the boy in surplice, bare-headed, and 
with the ruffle round the neck which is a distinctive character- 
istic of the SaUsbury chorister. 

" The most interesting feature in the Palace will always 
be the chapel, which seems scarcely to have been touched 
since the seventeenth century. The old quarto leather-bound 
prayer-books contain prayers for our most gracious King 
George and Queen Charlotte. The skilful fingers of Miss 
Edith Moberly, the gifted daughter of the Bishop, have, 
however, lined the bare walls with paintings copied from 
early Italian masters and with tasteful embroidery. The 
chapel is arranged choirwise with ' return stalls ' facing the 
altar for the Bishop and reader. Within the altar rails,^ were 
^ Now in the chapel of St. Nicholas Hospital, Salisbury. 

SALISBURY, 1885-1894 179 

two plaster casts of the two sides of the Runic cross which 
marks the graves of Christopher and Susanna Hatley Words- 
worth at Risehohne. A plain pastoral staff, with pohshed 
brass crook and oaken shaft, also belonging to his father, 
stood by the Bishop's stall, and there were other reHcs of 
Riseholme in the ante-chapel. It was in this chapel that 
Institutions were sometimes held and doubtless many other 
religious services of a pubhc or private kind. In the ordinary 
household services, at morning prayer some admirable prayers 
written and selected by the Bishop for the various days of 
the week were used ; in the evening the Prayer-book form 
of Evensong. It is to be regretted that none of the Bishop's 
short expositions after the morning or evening lesson have 
been preserved. They were always suggestive and never 
commonplace, singularly free from that banaUty which so 
often accompanies such utterances." 

These pleasant surroundings harmonised with the 
quiet ideals, akin to those of Miss Yonge, and with the 
standard of beauty in which the Wordsworths had been 

" There is certainly a blessing on this house," wrote the 
Bishop, 1 " I suppose from the good people who have lived in 
it, and I often feel that it is especially the case with this study 
and Bishop Hamilton's table, at which I am now writing — 
where, by the by, Liddon wrote his beautiful memoir of him." 

And he regarded his occupancy as a trust. He made it 
his business to restore the undercroft, which had long been 
doomed to base domestic uses, and it was with pride that 
it was thrown open at the first Cathedral Commemoration 
of benefactors in 1889. "It is very moving to have the 
honour of taking up Bishop Poore's work," he wrote, ^ 
"if it be his, as we suppose." Great hopes were enter- 
tained of diocesan usefulness for this low hall, but it was 
soon evident why the ancient Bishop had raised his Palace 

' To the Warden of Keble, 14th January, 1887. 
' To the same, 13th July, 1889. 


on such a substructure. A flood came, the new floor burst 
up and the wooden blocks of the pavement were swimming 
in a melancholy fleet on stagnant water. They were soon 
more firmly fixed, but they have rebelled again, and 
Bishop Poore's hall has not fulfilled the expectations of 
its restorer. 

The life within the home has been described for this 
book by a lady ^ who was closely associated with Mrs. 
Wordsworth in her good works. Her memories cover 
the whole period down to Mrs. Wordsworth's mortal 
illness in 1893. 

" The earliest impression made upon my mind with regard 
to the Bishop's appointment to the see is that it was said 
that he would be the youngest Bishop on the bench. Certainly 
his vigour showed itself at once in the wonderful way in which 
he threw his energies into every kind of diocesan work, large 
and small. The Palace soon became a true home for the 
diocesan clergy and their families, as well as for the many 
men and women who were devoting their lives to the work of 
the Church. The happy home life there, brightened as it was 
by the loving-hearted gaiety and sense of humour of Mrs. 
Wordsworth, can hardly be understood by any who did not 
share in it, while those who took part in it wiU ever hold it in 
loving remembrance. In those early days life at the Palace 
was very informal, and after some meeting or diocesan gather- 
ing those staying in the house would share in the ' high tea ' 
at which Mrs. Wordsworth presided, at which she would often 
give a racy account (with plenty of fun but never a word of 
malice) of what had been taking place, for the benefit of the 
Bishop and others who had not been at the meeting. 

" From the first, the Bishop attached great importance to 
the work of women for the Church. The Girls' Friendly Society 
and Women's Union were very close to their hearts, and it 
is impossible to estimate how much both Societies in the 
Salisbury Diocese owe to their loving care. When the G.F.S. 

1 Miss Beatrice Milford, daughter of Canon R. N. Milford, formerly 
Rector of East Knoyle, Wilts. 

SALISBURY, 1885-1894 181 

was being strengthened and its influence increased in 1888, 
the Bishop took keen interest in the matter ; and at a later 
date, in writing to the diocesan secretary, Mrs. Wordsworth 
says, ' I send you the form of admission the Bishop prefers, 
with his comments and alterations scribbled over it. He 
would Hke to have it in proof before it is circulated.' The same 
care over small matters was shown when the Bishop and his 
wife were starting the Diocesan Women's Union. Not only 
did the Bishop write both the beautiful prayers for the card, 
but he was most particular as to the red lines with which 
the face of the card was ornamented. 

" Many who came to Sahsbury to take part in diocesan 
meetings will remember those quiet services held in the Palace 
chapel, when it would be filled with guests and when at times 
the Bishop would give a simple yet profound address upon 
the Gospel for the week, or perhaps upon one of the Lessons 
for the day. Those happy gatherings at Salisbury were an 
untold help and refreshment to those who took part in them. 
Mrs. Wordsworth's loving and understanding sympathy won 
all hearts, and it was an inspiration to workers for God to 
know that their Bishop valued and cared for what they were 
trying to do. He was generous in thanking others for what 
they did, and, by expecting people to do great things, obtained 

" The Bishop's power of work was extraordinary. He 
worked so unceasingly that his wife in her letters often alluded 
to her anxiety. For instance :■ — 

" ' You will be sorry to hear that the Bishop is tired out 
and feverish and far from well. I only wonder he is as well 
as he is, when one considers all he has been doing lately. A 
new edition of his father's Church History, so he has had to 
go over all the proofs and write a long appendix of recent work ; 
his own Vulgate is now in the press, and the proof-sheets come 
constantly. Those Italians and their pastors in London give 
him no end of trouble and writing. He has been reading 
all the law and precedents that can be found for the Bishop 
of Lincoln's case, and, worse than all, this tiresome school 
business is taking the heart out of him. When you consider 
that all comes on the top of sixty-eight Confirmations and 
ceaseless correspondence, the only wonder is he is as well as 


he is. But I am very anxious, and chafe at my fetters,^ 
which prevent my nursing him as I am accustomed. ... It 
always depresses me to have him ill.' " 

Most of the causes of overwork mentioned in this letter 
will r-eappear. Overwork, in fact, was constant in those 
years, and sometimes not without nervous strain. There 
were days, as when the Bishop was assessor in the Lincoln 
case, when diocesan work was postponed till midnight, 
and I remember the legal secretary telling me of his fear 
lest letters written in the small hours about a difficult 
case of discipline might end in a suit for libel. But almost 
always the work was faced with buoyancy, and always 
with an extreme conscientiousness. Sometimes this ran 
to an excess ; in his zeal for technical perfection the Bishop 
was reluctant to let proof-sheets pass beyond his control, 
and his fellow-workers, especially in the Vulgate, had to 
resort to devices of smuggling to remove them beyond 
his reach. This was but one symptom of an interest in 
processes rather than results. He wished to retain the 
power to improve. I remember venturing to urge him 
to complete a modest piece of diocesan business by having 
a trust-deed executed. He would not, on the ground that 
we are " always happiest when struggling." As a matter 
of fact, no struggle was going on ; he wished to be able, 
when he might be in the mood, to resume the subject, 
and that particular transaction remained unfinished till 
his death, after more than twenty years. There was 
similar delay in many other instances, though in the long 
run most of his tasks did get completed, and completed 
well. Yet his satisfaction was, as I said, in watching the 
process ; in regard to his favourite industry of building, 
he was happier in climbing ladders and explaining the 
work to others who might be less at home on dizzy planks, 

1 Mrs. Wordsworth was laid up at the time with aa injured 

SALISBURY, 1885-1894 183 

or in suggesting alterations in the plan, than in knowing 
afterwards that the fabric was complete and paid for 
and fulfilling its purpose. 

There was an unfailing interest in the work that was 
being done, and a personal touch in everything. The day 
began with the plain Cathedral prayers at 7.30, when 
the Bishop's loud responses could be heard from the 
Lady Chapel far down the nave. For elaborate services 
he had little love, and during a long Te Deum or anthem 
there was no concealment of his inattention. He kept 
a small library of books of reference in his throne, and 
might be seen consulting, perhaps, a Hebrew lexicon; 
or if his thoughts suggested something worthy of record, 
there would be a struggle with his robes, his fountain-pen 
would emerge and a note would be made. It was part 
of his natural simplicity. At the Palace, too, all was 
natural. There was plain fare and silver plate, as in 
the home of St. Augustine ; and the tone of conversation 
was plain and natural too. Archdeacon Bodington 
writes : — 

" I think Dorset humour and American humour appealed 
to him most, but the homely details of life seldom failed to 
draw smiles and laughter from him every day. He was 
always cheerful and always hopeful, if he was not humorous. 
He was quite free from strained intensity. His Wordsworthian 
simplicity saw the waste of valuable tissue that comes from 
attempting to live life at an unnatural level, just as it revolted 
from self-consciousness as a form of selfishness, though he 
was shy himself from a certain self-consciousness." 

Of the work that was done in this spirit a record 
has been furnished by one who served as domestic chaplain 
a little after these first years. ^ Though the first light- 
heartedness was gone, with some of the idealism and 

1 The Rev. W. A. Crokat, chaplain 1 894-1901 ; now Rector of 
Muizenberg, Cape Colony. 


enthusiasm, Mr. Crokat's account would be true of any 
period during the episcopate. He writes : — 

" One of the things that made the deepest impression at 
the time was his absolute trust in a man when he once accepted 
him into his confidence. It was such as would make any man 
ashamed even to seem to come short of it. Trust in money 
matters, and trust in confidential matters where others were 
concerned, seemed at times almost greater than they ought to 
be. But it arose so evidently from the simple goodness of 
the Bishop's heart, his sense of the greatness of the work 
entrusted to himself was so real, and his wish that others 
younger than himself should take their full share in their more 
limited sphere was so strong, that one's own ideals of work 
were unconsciously raised to a higher level. No one could 
live near him and be associated with him in work without 
recognising, sometimes somewhat painfully, what a tremendous 
worker he was. The wide range of subjects in which he was 
interested was equalled by the thoroughness with which he 
carried each forward. But it was not always easy for others. 
As no obstacles seemed to deter him from what he felt ought 
to be attempted, so he seemed to think others, with not half 
his mental power, ought to be equally willing to attempt what 
seemed the impossible. It used to be said that he expected 
others to run their head against a brick waU, but that, when 
it came to his turn to do what others had failed to do, somehow 
the wall gave way and he was on the other side. The ability 
to concentrate his whole attention on one subject at a time to 
the exclusion of all else, enabled him to work with a thorough- 
ness and speed which left his subordinates far behind. On the 
other hand, to speak from a secretary's point of view, this 
mental thoroughness was scarcely a characteristic of the Bishop 
in ordinary matters. One could hardly call him methodical. 
Although it was his frequent, almost beseeching, request to 
his secretaries to tear up letters and papers, he rarely destroyed 
one himself, and never attempted to sort them. Every return 
from a journey brought into the study bundles of letters, 
important and unimportant, wliich had been forwarded to him 
during his journey, to remain untouched, perhaps, till another 
absence from home gave some one an opportunity to deal 

SALISBURY, 1885-1894 185 

with them. Accumulations of ancient correspondence of 
various dates were at times to be found under every book or 
heap of books on the study table. . . . There was, at any rate, 
one advantage to be had from this state of affairs, that it gave 
a man of vastly inferior powers an opportunity of being really 
useful to him. A long time might elapse, and the Bishop's 
mind would be so full of other matters that he seemed quite 
unmindful of this, and then suddenly he would say something 
which would show that he was, after aU, quite aware of it, and 
a few words of appreciation would give the keenest pleasure. 

" Another picture of those days, and not an uncommon 
one, remains vividly in one's memory. The Bishop in his 
chair at the study table, the table covered with the morning's 
letters, stylograph pen in hand, notepaper, or more often 
foolscap paper, on his knee, without pausing to choose words 
or phrases, writing rapidly some letter or paper of unusual 
importance, the morning's correspondence waiting idly till 
this weighty matter was off his mind. It is thus that one well 
remembers him writing sections of the Archbishops' reply to 
Pope Leo XIIL In connection with the English version of this 
I remember his asking me the right word for ' cut out,' which 
he could not think of at the moment ; and on my suggesting 
' eUminate,' he said that word was ' my contribution ' to the 
Letter. In later years I am afraid I used to conceal letters 
concerning the more lengthy extra-diocesan matters, when 
possible, until the more numerous but more easily disposed 
of diocesan letters had been attended to. If the Bishop was 
first in the study, he had a perverse way of picking out the 
lengthy subjects, and leaving the secretary with no letters to 
write till a good part of the morning had passed. On the other 
hand, if one got him in a diocesan frame of mind, a great pile 
of correspondence would be worked through in a wonderfully 
short time. Certainly the diocese was not allowed to suffer 
on account of outside interests. 

" These few reminiscences are those pertaining to a 
secretary's duties. The very large part in the life at the 
Palace occupied by the services in the Cathedral and the 
chapel of course affected all the routine work of chaplains 
and secretaries and others. The Bishop's genuine deep piety 
and his faith in prayer formed the basis of all work in the 


study, of diocesan correspondence as well as of work for the 
larger interests of the Church. But of these matters it is for 
others to speak. It only remains to be said that there could 
be no better training for after-life for any man than to be 
associated with one so large-hearted, so strong in loyalty 
to the Church, so untiring in his labours, so full of faith, and 
therefore so inspiring to others, as our late Bishop." 

When Mr. Crokat entered upon his ofhce, the Bishop 
gave him metrical instruction in his duties : — 

" You that would learn the secretary's art 
May take some lessons from an apple tart. 
The cook that makes a crisp and wholesome paste 
Must mix the ingredients to the eater's taste ; 
Yet such is nature that the common voice 
Makes four at least the universal choice. 
The base of all's the fine white flour of fact 
Unmixed with inference, minute, exact, 
Brought to consistency by common sense 
Like water clear, and plain without pretence. 
Be very very sparing of your spice ! 
Few relish wit, though some may think it nice. 
But two more things are needed, sir, for all. 
However scattered on this earthly ball. 
Whether they're poor or wealthy, old or young, 
Divided far in habits, home or tongue. 
Sugar and butter are their magic names. 
Their presence in your pastry no one blames. 
The young require them because Ufe is new. 
And often opens with an anxious view ; 
The middle-aged because its course is rude, 
And their best purposes misunderstood ; 
The old since death has robbed them of their friends 
And there is sadness in the brightest ends. 
I would not have you flatter rich or poor. 
But life to both is often dull and sour. 
Our tastes, too, foreigners all share in this : 
Italian, French, or German, Greek or Swiss. 
In fact, remember all mankind have hearts, 
And all are schoolboys in respect of tarts." 

SALISBURY, 1885-1894 187 

In the Bishop's literary work, apart from the Vulgate, 
there could be little system. He was employed so con- 
stantly on inquiries bearing on the circumstances of the 
day that he had no leisure for methodical reading. The 
range of literature on which he habitually drew was so 
wide that those who did not know him might think that 
he garnered passages which struck him in his notebooks. 
He did nothing of the kind. Unlike Bishop Stubbs, he 
had no shelves laden with exquisitely kept manuscript 
volumes of annotation. His notes were for the immediate 
purpose, and not for future reference. But somewhere 
in his mind was everything that he had read, and it 
appeared when it was needed. Yet he carried his know- 
ledge lightly ; he had such an infallible instinct for the 
likely place in literature that his mind was not burdened 
with an excessive weight of facts. And so accurate was 
his knowledge of his own library that the least literary 
of chaplains could be informed by letter, from a confirma- 
tion tour, where to seek for abstruse information of which 
the Bishop was in need. To this absence of annotation 
there was one exception. The duodecimo Greek Testa- 
ment of Tischendorf's edition, which he had bought at 
Berlin in 1867, was his constant companion. It was a 
marvel of brief comment and reference, growing ampler 
throughout his life. Except in the second half of the Acts 
and the whole of the Apocalypse, where the notes are 
scanty, its well-worn pages and margins are covered with 
exquisitely neat annotations and underlinings. For his 
sermons the Bishop employed a peculiar method. He 
wrote them in cheap small-octavo notebooks, which came 
to number nearly eighty. Some of the sermons were 
fully written out, some were skeletons, and in the same 
volumes were notes of addresses which he had heard on 
various occasions. There can be few, however modest 
their capacities, to whom he listened of whose utterances 


he made no record. The sermons are extraordinary 
in the variety of their illustrations. In one there are cita- 
tions from Shelley and from Suetonius a few lines apart. 
Many were printed in small numbers in a duodecimo 
form for gifts rather than with the thought of sale ; 
and many of these were pasted for further use into his 
volumes. It was so that he prepared for his American 
journey ; all his sermons, save one or two, such as that 
to the General Convention, were adapted from earlier 
addresses in print. Often, when printed, they were 
fortified with learned notes, as was one to the troops at 
Tid worth Camp, preached in his last days, on the organi- 
sation of the Roman Army and the lessons to be learned 
from it. A selection, which is fairly typical though it 
cannot show the wide range of his topics, has recently 
been published, and many more may be found in the 
Diocesan Gazette. It may safely be said that he was 
always deeply interested in what he said, and that he 
habitually spoke with impressive weight. There was no 
rhetoric in the sermons, and there was often the assump- 
tion that his hearers knew more, and were more keenly 
interested in the subject than was actually the case. 
Perhaps, though he was often powerful in the pulpit, 
and though spiritual things were prominent in his teaching, 
justice is best done to him by regarding his sermons as 
part of his literary production. This, again, was astonish- 
ingly varied. Wherever precedents were applicable, he 
sought and found them, and he was always ready to 
derive principles from precedent and experience. His 
width of reading furnished him with a rich supply of 
analogies applicable, more or less perfectly, to modern 
circumstances. But his ultimate convictions were so 
firm that he took no interest in the criticism or defence 
of first principles, and with his strong sense of the binding 
force of authority he sought truth through research rather 

SALISBURY. 1885-1894 189 

than through reasoning. Scripture, perhaps, was too 
sacred for critical examination ; certainly his study of 
it aimed directly at edification. Modern conclusions con- 
cerning the New Testament he never accepted : with the 
Old it was otherwise. In his first days as Bishop he shared 
Liddon's repugnance for all departure from tradition. 
I remember listening with consternation in 1888 to his 
prophecy that, should the accepted date and authorship 
of the Pentateuch be abandoned, public faith in the Gospel 
would fail. In later life, though he had made none of the 
inquiries of the specialist, he adjusted himself to his 
environment and accepted the current opinion of educated 
men ; but it is needless to say that he never took a 
naturalist view of the Old Testament. As time went 
on, the range of his scholarly interests widened. To 
patristic knowledge in all its departments he added that 
of liturgiology. To this he was led by his practical 
duties as a Bishop, but he soon became a devoted specialist, 
yet one who would warn others against being engrossed 
in so technical a pursuit. One of his chief treasures in 
later life was a York Missal, on whose bibliographical 
peculiarities he would expatiate as a true disciple of Coxe. 
His wide knowledge, in particular, of forms of service 
for the consecration of churches has enabled him bene- 
ficially to influence current practice, and his strong 
opinions on the due conduct of Divine Service were always 
fortified by examples from the past. The Lincoln case 
drew him to canon law, and the constitutional problems 
which the Lambeth gatherings have suggested were a 
further incitement to research for answers to them in 
history. Finally, questions of reunion, in Scotland and in 
many lands as well as at home, always shaped themselves 
for him in a historical guise, and there were few centuries 
in which he did not seek to know how men had faced 
such difficulties as confront the Church to-day. Especially 


in his latter years he devoted much attention to what are 
called the Dark Ages, a period with some aspects of which 
his palaeographical studies in the Latin Bible had long 
made him familiar. This manifold work, pursued in 
the intervals of his other duties and interests, engrossed 
so much of his time that he had little space for recreation. 
He would, in fact, often say that a change of work was 
a sufficient rest. On the confirmation tours there were 
hours in the open air ; at other times there were rides 
on horseback, none too frequent and abandoned in later 
life. Usually there was but a brief walk, often in de- 
pressing circumstances, as when in the dusk of a winter 
afternoon he would snatch an hour to plod, with pounds 
of wet chalk adhering to his soles, over rude paths at the 
back of Harnham Hill. But he was not discontented. 
Mrs. Wordsworth told a friend that when she cried out 
for the mountains of Switzerland the Bishop replied that 
he would never think of criticising nature, as seen from 
Salisbury Race Plain. 

With such interests and capacities for work he entered 
on his task. There were arrears to be overcome, for 
Bishop Moberly, with keenness of mind unimpaired, had 
been for some time physically incapable. He was at 
once faced by a serious difficulty. The ecclesiastical press 
was never more reckless, in flattery and in vituperation, 
than in 1885.^ Misled by his association with Liddon 
and other Oxford friends, the journalists on both sides 
had leaped to the conclusion that the new Bishop was an 
extreme partisan. He was acclaimed with an embar- 
rassing fervour which awakened unreasonable hopes in 
some quarters and (what was more serious) equally un- 
reasonable fears in others, especially in Dorset, where 
Evangelicalism was strong. Soon, for a reason that is 

1 At his Lent ordination in 1885 Bishop Stubbs, of Chester, definitely 
bade his candidates to read neither the Church Times nor the Rock. 

SALISBURY, 1885-1894 191 

not worth recalling, he was being gibbeted in the Rock 
as a " narrow-minded Bishop." He had to explain with 
infinite patience to one suspicious clergyman after another 
how harmless were his practices and how central his 
position. One was told, " I adopt the Eastward Position 
myself, as the most usual in Christendom, Protestant as 
well as Papal, Eastern as well as Western," To another 
he wrote : — 

" We cannot agree on everything, but we may certainly 
agree on a great number of important subjects, and not only 
agree but act together upon them with a sense of deepened 
responsibility. Have you considered how much a sense of 
partizanship (where it occupies a large space in a man's 
thoughts) interferes with his proper influence ? " 

There can be no doubt that this painful experience 
— some Evangelicals in their alarm proposed to withdraw 
from all diocesan organisations — deepened the Bishop's 
repugnance to party spirit on either side. 

If there were difficulties, the Bishop had great advan- 
tages. He heartily admired the typical country clergy- 
man : in his first home at Stanford he had learned to know 
what the work and the life were. To him they were real 
and normal, giving full scope for all good faculties. He 
expressed his admiration in his funeral sermon on Arch- 
deacon Sanctuary,! g, man after his own mind, though he 
had not the scholarly instinct : — 

" As the son of a country gentleman, he inherited those 
tastes for outdoor life and pursuits in which many English- 
men find almost a full satisfaction of their ideal of life. His 
physical strength and robust, manly, genial temper fitted him 
for fuU enjoyment of material things. He might have wasted 
his energies or fallen into slothfulness and ease. But God 

^ Thomas Sanctuary, Archdeacon of Dorset and Rector of Power- 
stock ; died 27th May, 1889. The sermon was preached in Salisbury 
Cathedral, 2nd June. 


had better things in store for him. The influences of a good 
home, of good fellow-students and of good teachers — one ever 
tenderly valued by him being my own father, his master at 
Harrow School — stamped upon him the sense that the service 
of God in the ministry of the Church was to be the business 
and the pleasure of his life in one. I say distinctly the business 
and the pleasure of his life, the one thing for which he really 
cared. There are many men who do their duty well enough, 
but who are always looking beyond it and behind it to the 
relaxation which is to follow, to the weekly or yearly hoHday, 
the pleasant engagement which is to set them free to be their 
real selves. This was not so with him. Our brother was his 
real self in his work, and he was so because the self-conscious, 
ease-loving self in him was deliberately kept in the background. 
I know not whether it was by effort or temperament or the 
result of both, but he was, as far as my experience goes (and 
I beheve that it was generally noticed), unknown ever to 
murmur or complain, unknown to put his own personal 
ambitions or tastes or projects forward, unknown to speak 
in any self-conscious or sentimental manner of what concerned 
himself. His hfe was brightened with many blessings, but 
it was chequered by not a few sorrows, and those not easy to 
bear. He was brave and he was simple, and therefore he was 
able to be diffusive and sympathetic. He had an open eye 
for the enjoyment of nature and for the enjoyment of human 
nature — and of both as God's work. His was a manly 
sympathy, and it had a special power with men, particularly 
with the men of that county which he had so entirely adopted 
as his own." 

So also, after twenty years* experience, he spoke in his 
triennial charge of 1906 : — 

" It is the type of the Christian English gentleman, enriched, 
in the case of the clergy, by the quiet daily performance of 
pastoral duty. Such men showed themselves simple in faith 
and plain in living, upright and unblemished in character, 
unquestioning in loyalty to the Church and loyal to loving 
personal authority, but faithful in counsel and independent 
in judgment, generous and unambitious in public spirit. 

SALISBURY, 1885-1894 193 

founders and restorers of schools and churches and parsonages 
and pubhc institutions, and conscious that power, influence, 
and wealth are a trust from God. It is a fine type for which 
the nation as well as the Church has cause to thank God. 
A type that wears well and will never be out of date, one which 
gives confidence to all those who have the faintest perception 
of what is meant by character." 

Valuing the clergy as he did, and loyal to them as he 
was, it is not wonderful that he was soon welcomed. Arch- 
deacon Bodington, who began his career in a Dorchester 
curacy, writes how the people as well as the clergy — 

" gave him their friendship in a few months. They felt that 
he was perfectly simple, free from party, and sincere. He also 
won much affection by his kindness to the young people of the 
rectories and country houses. But also his quick success 
was undoubtedly due to Mrs. Wordsworth's interpretation of 
him to the diocese. People saw him not only through their 
own but also through her eyes. She made, indeed, an extra- 
ordinary impression on the diocese. She understood rural 
churchwardens as nicely as she did Oxford undergraduates. 
I remember a lunch when a deadly, icy silence prevailed, and 
could not be broken till at last she exclaimed, ' You frighten 

me and Mr. so much that I think we shall both run 

away in a minute ! ' Of course the ice was broken, the 
Bishop leading the laughter, and everything went beautifully. 
In those days I often had amusing experiences. When he 
visited Dorchester or the neighbourhood,^ it was his habit to 
take me with him as his chaplain. Mrs. Wordsworth used to 
protest : ' He needs some one who can keep him in order, and 
what's the good of you for that ? ' Indeed, it was dif&cult. 
When it was wet, robing at a vicarage he would walk to church 
with a large cloak over his robes and an umbrella over his head. 
On more than one occasion he walked thus up the church, and 
in spite of all entreaties hung his cloak over the altar-rails. 
Sometimes he would get up during an anthem (which he 
never Hked) and look out of the windows. Another time he 

1 Between 1886 and 1889. 



would insist on going the wrong way to the pulpit, only to 
find himself disappointed of entrance. When he did arrive 
there, as often as not there were surprises. He loved to warn 
us how some cherished Protestant principle or practice might 
lead up to Papalism or Mariolatry, and how full of private 
judgment was the Catholic mind. As the newspapers said 
at the time of his death, he always said something you never 
forgot. He was not eloquent, he was not logically cogent, 
but there was always some one thing or more, it might be 
sometimes a whole sermon, that you remembered. If you 
had the imagination to realise the man's greatness, the 
sympathy to understand why he was saying what he was 
saying, the sense of humour to enjoy the delightful quaintness, 
the education to enjoy the allusions, the simphcity to wish 
to be instructed, he interested you intensely. 

" It has always struck me as remarkable how the local 
press of the two counties changed from hostility, or at least 
hostile criticism, in the earliest months of his episcopate to 
an extraordinary confidence in his justice and wisdom. At 
first they did not like his blunt straightforwardness. He gave 
much offence in one small town by saying that it was the 
black spot in his diocese ; they have not forgotten it now, 
after twenty-five years. They did not Hke his walking about 
the streets in his robes. They thought some of his remarks 
unpractical. They thought him ' very High Church.' But 
he never took the sHghtest notice of what was said except 
to be rather more than usually kind to those who said it. 
Gradually they came to think he was almost certainly right 
on his own subjects, that he always had a reason for what he 
said, that he was never wrong in his facts, and that some of 
his unpractical remarks had a way of fulfiUing themselves. 

" When I was with him, always when he came into the 
house after a confirmation he would kneel down by the bedside 
and pray audibly for those he had confirmed, asking with 
tears in his eyes pardon for his own sins. He would pay an 
extraordinary number of visits on these occasions. ' Who is 

Mr. ? Where does he live. Take me to see him. Who 

else have we time to go and see ? ' Then he never forgot the 
names and history of those he had seen on a former occasion. 
Perhaps he would succeed in paying fourteen or fifteen calls 

SALISBURY, 1885-1894 195 

(they were very brief) on these one-day visits, beside confirming 
once or twice and possibly reopening some church or church- 
yard or attending some meeting. In walking about he would 
invite expression of difficulties and give you his help : ' Turn 
wandering thoughts themselves into prayers,' ' Often difficulty 
in prayer is due to want of blood in one's brain,' ' When you 
think of a thing do it, and when begun finish it if possible in 
order to avoid waste of time in getting out the apparatus 
again.' Perhaps this was why he would ask for paste or 
gum, say at 8 p.m., when dinner and fellow-guests were waiting. 
I think it was the universaUty of his interest that was the 
foundation of his sympathy. Just as I have known a smoking 
chimney or an inconvenient coal-hole make him late for a 
confirmation (and I once found him in his bedroom with his 
head covered with soot from such an investigation) till he had 
satisfied himself as to causes and remedies, so it was with 
every man's work. What was the cause of its defects ? He 
would trace them to their source in helping you." 

Mrs. Wordsworth was inseparable from her husband 
on his confiimation tours. Their earliest experience was 
also their worst. After describing various difficulties, 
including the loss of their road in the snow somewhere 
between Ashmore and Tollard Royal, she continues^ : — 

" I am sure you ought to have an account of this week's 
proceedings, they have been so adventurous. We started 
Monday morning from Blandford in thick snow — what a 
wretched day it was ! I never spent quite such a one ; in and 
out of cold, dull parish churches, with the carriage damper 
each time we got into it, incessant cold rain and sleet all day, 
ending in dense, raw fog. We were indeed glad of the bright, 
warm welcome we received at the end of it all at Milborne. 
I did ache with rheumatism. Tuesday, such a day ! Bright 
summer sunshine, pretty Httle church and charming service. 
We had quite a holiday that bright day, and it did us both 
good. So far I told you before. Did I tell you that John 
took our host's carriage and drove off in thick snow, it being 

1 To Miss Susan Wordsworth, 6th March, 1886, from Abbotsbury. 


much lighter than ours ? He got to Puddletown all right, and 
confirmed at 11, and I beheve got to Cerne Abbas after con- 
siderable trouble at 3, but after that, trying to get over the 
down, the carriage stuck fast in the snow, the springs broke, 
the portmanteau rolled out, etc., etc. John had got over into 
a field and descried his next destination (Buckland Newton, 
confirmation at 5) lying about a mile beneath him, so he caught 
hold of the pastoral staff with one hand and the robes with 
the other, and ran down through the snow, arriving only ten 
minutes late. He had another wild day, Thursday, at Bishop's 
Caundle and Haselbury Bryan, but joined me at Milton Abbas 
at 6, wonderfully bright and little tired. On Friday morning 
(yesterday) when we woke, imagine our dismay ; over a foot 
of snow and snowstorm continuing ! Every one tried to 
dissuade him from going on. They said the drifts in the lanes 
were five or six feet deep, but Hamlin ^ said if they would 
lend him a leader they would do it, so off they set — three 
horses and our carriage. John wouldn't take me. The 
weather got worse and worse. I was very anxious about John ; 
and how was I to get away, for the snow was still falling ? 
And though we had telegraphed for a fly and two horses from 
Dorchester to fetch me, how could I be sure that we should 
ever get through eleven miles of snow, when the postman 
could not come and the lanes were full from drifts ? But 
I did, and here I am in the loveliest spot in England, with 
bright sunshine sparkling and hardly any snow, and I shall 
feel very thankful and content when John comes in, as I hope 
he may, in half an hour's time." 

But adventures came in London as well. Writing 
to Mr. Holgate from the pleasant rooms in Lollards' 

1 This shrewd and faithful servant deserves mention. He was a 
true humorist, and in his journeys had acquired an extraordinary 
knowledge of the two counties. After the return from an expedition 
he would impart to a secretary or chaplain an unofficial, but enter- 
taining and sometimes instructive, view of the state of the parishes. 
And he would keep his employers up to the mark. " There are several 
calls you ought to make, mum, the people looking very hard at you 
as we pass," Mrs. Wordsworth records him as saying. Searle, the loyal 
friend and chauffeur of later years, must also be named. 

SALISBURY, 1885-1894 197 

Tower in which, through Archbishop Benson's kindness, 
the Wordsworths in 1889 had succeeded Bishop Lightfoot, 
she says ^ : — . 

" The sermon at Westminster Abbey came off all right, 
but it was written under difficulties. One of your lunatic 

friends, , came to sit hours with him, and then the Lambeth 

church bells took to practising, for some reason best known to 
themselves, and literally for more than two hours pealed in 
our rooms. . . . Our Bishop more than furious. However, 
it got written somehow, but I didn't hear it as I felt unwell 
and tired. ... I never heard John come in, but when I 
came out of Lambeth Chapel there I found him learning 
Armenian — ' tch, hah, etc' — with that man who burst on us 
at the Synod, and there they went on till nearly midnight, 
the Bishop rapt. Do all Bishops sit down to learn Armenian 
after preaching tiring sermons in Westminster Abbey, I 
wonder ? . . . But yesterday was the day. We left Lollards' 
Tower at g.30 in a steamer. The air, the clouds, the banks, the 
water just lovely. I did enjoy it. Whiting 2 and the robes 
gave respectability, but the Bishop would imagine there was 
a landing-stage just past Chelsea, which he said was nearer 
St. Mark's than Chelsea Pier. So on we went, the Chelsea 
clocks as we steamed by pointing 12.20, and the service at 
12.30. On we go, leaving Chelsea behind us, and find that 
the next stage is the wrong side of the river a long way higher 
up. Whiting and the robes, the Bishop and I at unequal 
distances scamper through back lanes till a hansom is found, 
and we really arrive at St. Mark's only ten minutes late and 
no one seems to have expected us before." 

The whole picture of activity, and, it must be said, 
of unpunctuality, is thoroughly characteristic of the pair, 
and the high spirits in which it is described of Mrs. Words- 
worth. Whether it was well that one whose health was 
never strong should share in such constant hurryings and 
in such occasional hardships, is a question that need not 
be asked. Certainly she would have refused to abstain ; 

1 26th March, 1891. » The butler. 


certainly also she heartily enjoyed the varied ex- 
perience and brought light and help to many a secluded 

In i8go the Bishop put some of his impressions of the 
diocese into writing. They were meant only for private 

" Dorset," he says, " is a much more ' homey ' county than 
Wilts, with no tracts of cold chalk downs or plains separating 
its valleys from one another, and with many more resident 
gentry, who are either closely connected by marriage or at 
least take an interest in one another's families. The common 
people have more of Celtic blood, perhaps, and are more easy 
to make friends with. They are, perhaps, slightly less truthful 
than the Wiltshire peasants and possibly not such fast friends 
as the latter when the latter are won. There is more of 
Puritanism in Dorset of a certain Idnd, though I do not think 
it is so hard to overcome as in parts of Wilts, where Non- 
conformity is of older growth — e.g. round Trowbridge and in 
some of the parishes near Pewsey and Marlborough, where the 
farmers are active in making complaints if not in propagating 
schism. Not that I have personally received many ritual 
complaints against the clergy from any parts of the diocese. 
I cannot recall after reference to my letter -books more than 
five or six, and nearly all of these were quite trifling and indeed 
rather of the nature of incidents in personal quarrels or expres- 
sions of cantankerousness on the part of the complainants, 
than serious charges." 

A similar, but fuller and more picturesque appre- 
ciation of Dorset may be read in his sermon to Dorset 
men in London, preached in 1908 in St. Paul's 

He was always eager to draw attention to the natural 

features and historical associations of his diocese, that 

so he might heighten the zeal of its living inhabitants for 

the maintenance of their inheritance. Thus in his last 

^ P. 164 of the posthumous volume of Sermons. 

SALISBURY, 1885-1894 199 

triennial charge, delivered in 1909, he spoke of Wiltshire 
in the past : — 

" Surely it gives an extraordinary interest to our diocese, 
and to the neighbourhood of our cathedral city, that our 
Avon connects us so intimately with the most ancient reUgious 
and pohtical history of our land. It is now but a sinuous 
silver streak ghding through green meadows in the midst of 
its old course. In those old days it was a stronger and broader 
current, taking the most direct line from Salisbury Plain to 
the sea at Christchurch Bay. It was doubtless the highway 
up which the most ancient stones of Stonehenge, of Welsh 
or Irish origin, were brought when that great monument was 
first begun. It bore on its breast many a war- vessel, many a 
barge of state, many a merchant ship. Up its channel came 
the salmon, as they still do when they are permitted, but 
doubtless in far greater numbers. Its upper southward 
course is still protected by camps or fortified villages, of which 
the traces still remain from Broadbury and the Casterley 
entrenchments on the West and Chisenbury on the East. 
Amesbury was doubtless an important point on this river, and 
Old Sarum must have been the capital of the district, and so 
placed as to control the entrance to the upper valley. Three 
miles below Old Sarum hes Britford — the British outpost 
when Briton and Saxon for a time rested from the struggle 
for defence and conquest — evidently an old religious centre, 
which still retains some remarkable Saxon work of the eighth 

And so he traces the course of the Avon downwards 
to the sea. But he was not content to reconstruct the 
past ; he wished to mould the future, and at the Synod 
of 1892 he drew a brilliant picture of Salisbury as equally 
suited to be a manufacturing centre and a University 

In this spirit he began at once to frame projects for 
religious work. The first, mooted at the Synod of 1886, 
was for a body of mission preachers, which was established 
in the following autumn. Writing to the friend whom 


he designed to make its first Warden, ^ he describes his 
hopes : — 

" Salisbury once (about 800 years ago) gave a ritual to 
England. I see no reason why it may not start something 
which may be of as practical importance in the organisation 
of the reUgious life of its priests, nowadays, and be at least 
an example to the whole Anglican Church. I have no wish 
to put the matter in an unreal Kght, but I know that there 
is a great want, and that being a Bishop with a large house 
and no family I have some opportunities for making the 
attempt which others have not. Another reason is the great 
harmony of feeling in the diocese and the readiness of our 
clergy, with scarcely an exception, to accept such a plan coming 
from the Bishop of the diocese." 

The society came into being under the title of " Mis- 
sionaries of St. Andrew " ; it still lives and has had a 
modest usefulness, rather in taking charge of vacant 
parishes and in similar forms of help than in the conduct 
of parochial missions, though that work has not been 
neglected. It has also more than once provided a home 
for clergy who have been drawn towards scholarship, 
and to them the Bishop's library was always open. The 
Bishop regarded himself as a member of the Society, 
found it a home in the Palace till its dwelling in the old 
Church House was restored for it, and provided for its 
permanence by collecting a moderate endowment. He 
was scrupulous in his respect for its constitutional rights, 
whether formulated with his consent or informally 
developed ; he watched over its spiritual life, and was 
sometimes very tolerant towards its shortcomings. 

But his most characteristic work was the foundation 
of the Bishop's school. At the Mayor's lunch which 
followed his enthronement he asked for suggestions from 

^ The Rev. G. F. Hooper, now Chaplain of St. Oswald's, Worcester ; 
written on the 21st May, 1886. 

SALISBURY, 1885-1894 201 

those present for some work that he might initiate, and 
so follow the example of the founders among his pre- 
decessors. He soon fixed upon a middle-class school 
for boys as the chief need of the city of Salisbury. In 
1889 he built a handsome school of red brick, with a 
seemly chapel, close to his Palace. He took an unceasing 
interest in its welfare. Archdeacon Bodington says — 

" it was the first place he went to on arriving at home, and 
he thought all his visitors would like to see it too. Once he 
spent much time in considering the provision of pepper and 
salt for the boys who brought their dinner to school. Such 
details to him were always as important as great principles." 

The carpentering and smith's work were naturally 
watched with special interest, and in his ambition for his 
school the Bishop wished to make it the centre for technical 
teaching in Salisbury. He protested in a printed pamphlet 
against the city's design to found a technical school of 
its own " in opposition to mine, or at any rate to my plans 
for the city." The city took its own course, and the 
Bishop formed new plans as the national system of educa- 
tion developed and grants were more liberally bestowed. 
More highly trained teachers were engaged and fresh 
branches of science were taught. Then the school was 
opened to girls. The Bishop had planned to build a 
school for them, but finally preferred a scheme of co-educa- 
tion of the two sexes. Next, a boarding-house was built, 
that the school might not benefit the city only. Finally, 
in 1898, though the Bishop till his death took care to main- 
tain his control, he vested the school and certain adjacent 
houses which he had bought in the Diocesan Finance 
Board as the " Wordsworth Educational Trust." It was 
a noble benefaction, though the cost of modem education 
endangers the permanence of schools which stand outside 
the county system without considerable endowments 


to maintain them. For some twenty-five years the school 
has provided a sound Church education for children who 
now number about two hundred. Some of the boys 
have won an honourable place in the world. 

No assistance was asked by the Bishop for his own 
effort. But while he was taxing his means to establish 
it, an unexpected educational storm drew the eyes of 
England to Salisbury. It was a time when the strife over 
elementary schools was bitter. In Salisbury there were 
none but voluntary schools, the cost of which, though 
Nonconformists paid their share, mainly fell upon the 
Church, which had its National schools in every parish. 
Public opinion was in favour of things as they were. At 
each election a majority of the School Board was returned 
pledged not to establish schools of its own. Thus the 
denominational system seemed secure. But the militant 
Nonconformists devised a plan by which they expected 
to obtain their desire of introducing undenominational 
education into the city. By closing their own schools 
they would create such a demand for places in the National 
schools that the voluntary system would break down. 
Churchmen would fail to provide the needed accommoda- 
tion, and so Board schools would become a necessity. 
To obtain this end the Nonconformists closed in succession 
several schools, financially solvent, with an honourable 
history and providing a good education. The scheme, 
which was doubtless promoted by politicians outside 
Salisbury, was ingenious, but it was based on a miscal- 
culation. Pecuniary fears were the last motive to deter 
the Bishop. The case became national. He subscribed 
heavily himself, money flowed in from all England, a 
Sisterhood from London for some time undertook the 
conduct of a school ; and when, with dramatic suddenness, 
a British school in Scot's Lane shut its doors the Bishop 
at once opened a substitute in his own Palace. The 

SALISBURY, 1885-1894 203 

scheme collapsed, for the Church provided all the space 
that was needed, and on the 24th September, 1890, the 
Bishop was able to write to Archbishop Benson : — 

" We opened the last of our schools yesterday in a quiet, 
simple way, and since the collapse of Mundella's attack in 
the House of Commons I have heard of no recrudescence of 
Dissenting feeling here." 

Mr. Mundella was, in his eyes, the leader of the attempt, 
and some of the methods employed in it the Bishop 
regarded as unscrupulous. The political Dissenters, he 
thought, were making Salisbury a test case. It was the 
harder for him, because he valued their schools, and 
actually volunteered help from the Church if only they 
would enlarge their buildings instead of closing them. 

But if there was victory in 1890, the struggle through- 
out the diocese continued till the peace of 1902. In its 
course the Bishop became an expert in all the techni- 
calities, now half forgotten, of that transitional period in 
educational policy. He had some disappointments, and 
his plans were not accepted by all those who sympathised 
with his aims, but nowhere in England was greater 
success achieved in maintaining Church schools than in 
the diocese of Salisbury. When the controversy was 
resumed under a new government in 1906 the Bishop 
was as vigorous in argument as ever against new schemes 
which, as yet, have not been brought into action. But 
he was always candid in debate, as when he refused to 
sanction one of the most popular arguments used on the 
side of the Church : — 

" Surely Nonconformists are right in saying that the system 
of general religious education which they advocate is not 
an endowment of Dissent out of the rates. It does not 
assist the Baptist or Wesleyan cause in the way that the 
teaching of the Church Catechism and the Prayer-book assists 


the cause of the Church of England. It may weaken the 
Church, but in my opinion it also weakens the special tenets 
of Dissent. On the other hand, Churchmen are right in 
calling the system, as now administered, precarious, Erastian, 
and tending to Unitarianism. What is needed to make it 
better is an alliance between Churchmen and religious Non- 
conformists, based on a perception of the true conditions and 
drawbacks of the present system." ^ 

It was in regard to education that the Bishop made 
his one serious attempt at legislation. He had taken his 
seat in the House of Lords on the 12th June, 1890, and 
in 1893 he introduced his " Elementary Education 
(Religious Instruction) Bill." It provided that if the 
parents of five or more children, belonging to two or more 
families, petitioned for it, a School Board was to appoint 
a religious instructor of their denomination, who should 
give them separate teaching of not more than three hours 
a week, and not at the cost of the Board. Bishop Temple, 
of London, refused to support the Bill, on the ground that 
its ultimate tendency was to bring about universal secular 
schools, with ministers or others selected by the parents 
giving the religious instruction. However, the BUI, which 
had Lord Salisbury's approval, was introduced and read 
a first time on the i6th March, read a third time, passed 
with amendments and sent down to the Commons on 
the 5th July, 1893. In the Lower House it made no 

But the House of Lords was not the most appropriate 
scene for Bishop Wordsworth. One of his brethren 
writes :■ — 

" I should not have said that dear J. S. was a man suited 

for the House of Lords. And I remember having a feeling 

of uneasiness when he got up. But I don't remember that 

he justified it ; and his mastery and masterfulness had a way 

1 I regret that the reference for this^passage is missing. 

SALISBURY, 1885-1894 205 

of impressing, on occasion, even people who, one would 
a priori have said, would treat him with little attention." 

A strong will had been needed if the school difficulty 
at Salisbury was to be overcome. The Bishop in his 
earlier days was even masterful. There are many 
instances of his insistence upon having his way. A clergy- 
man of some dignity and of many years' standing in the 
diocese had, the Bishop thought, outlived his usefulness, 
and was told that he ought to resign. He refused, and 
was so incautious as to visit Salisbury in order to expostu- 
late. He was not allowed to leave the Bishop's study 
till his resignation was signed. It was natural that one 
of such antecedents as the Bishop should at first show 
traces of the don and even of the schoolmaster. When in 
1888 he founded the Salisbury Diocesan Gazette, which will 
be indispensable to all students of Church affairs in the 
nineteenth century, so thoughtful and comprehensive 
are his surveys of the movement of the time, he naturally 
desired that the clergy should keep and bind their copies. 
He publicly advised them to do so, and after a year he 
wished to know how far his counsel had been taken. 
In the diocesan synod of 1889 he asked all those who had 
bound their Gazettes to hold up their hands. No hands 
were raised ; but in justice to the clergy it must be said 
that bound copies were kept and valued in many a 

But this masterfulness, which was almost conquered 
in later years, did not cause resentment. It was one of 
the ways in which the Bishop, of whom all were proud, 
was unlike other men. It even helped him in the enthu- 
siastic course in which he, aided by Mrs. Wordsworth, 
swept everything before him. It was a singularly happy 
time, when administrative, devotional, scholarly, theolo- 
gical, antiquarian interests jostled with one another, 


yet did not impede a bright and unceasing hospitality. 
No one could have had less reason to desire a changed 
position. Yet, with a certain quixotry he wrote to 
Archbishop Benson at the end of 1890 ^ : — 

" I can't help feeling troubled about Worcester. I some- 
times wish I might offer to exchange with the Bishop designate, 
but I don't really feel that it would be right to do so." 

The time was one when intercommunion with Dis- 
senters was in the air, and Dr. Perowne had provoked a 
storm in his future diocese and in the ecclesiastical press 
by his advocacy of that course. Salisbury might not 
have welcomed a Churchman of that colour ; but the 
diocese of Worcester then contained Birmingham, and 
the Bishop of Salisbury craved for the rule over a great 
city, and had no doubt of his fitness for the task. There 
is no reason to regret that the opportunity did not come. 
It would have lessened his leisure for works of scholarship. 
His learning received its first honorary reward in 1890, 
when he was made LL.D. of Dublin. 

Over this life of busy and happy service a shadow 
was now to be cast. Archdeacon Bodington, speaking 
of 1890, says that he found Mrs. Wordsworth then — 

" as brilliant as ever, but it did strike me that she was not 
well, and that the pace of the life was too much for her. There 
were times when her nerves were undoubtedly strained, and 
she suffered from them. But I am quite certain that nothing 
would have ever persuaded her to desist from giving herself 
to the full. When I said good-bye to her in the autumn, to 
go to South Africa, she seemed to anticipate that we might 
not meet again. We did, in 1893-94, but the end was already 
drawing near. This much more ought to be said, that the 
Church and diocese can never exaggerate the debt they owe 
to Mrs. Wordsworth for inspiring him. He knew his indebted- 
ness. It was in consequence an ideal home. She was an 
^ 15th December. 

SALISBURY, 1885-1894 , 207 

intensely happy woman, but I shall always think that to love 
and service she sacrificed, though gladly and wiUingly, mere 
length of days." 

Malignant disease became evident in 1893, and for a 
year Mrs. Wordsworth was on her death-bed. Ample 
records remain of the thoughts and feelings of the time, 
such as in many instances have been printed for edifica- 
tion. Here no more shall be said than that her husband 
noted in her " a growth in grace, as certain as any fact 
of mathematics," and that after her death Bishop 
Durnford, of Chichester, wrote : — 

" What a light and joy she brought to our little company 
at the Lollards' ! How different was that dingy Tower 
when she was there ! Those days are not to return, but the 
memory of them is bright and sweet and will never pass 

Mrs. Wordsworth was commemorated by the Bishop 
and a few of her friends in an exhibition to be held at 
Lady Margaret's Hall or St. Hugh's College at Oxford 
by girls born or educated in the diocese of Salisbury. 
It was also in her memory that the Bishop purchased the 
wretched court facing his School across Exeter Street, 
which he repaired and made into a row of cheap and 
healthy cottages. He afterwards gave it as part of the 
School's endowment. A public subscription was raised 
for the establishment of a " Wordsworth Home of Rest " 
for women. This was at first at Weymouth, was moved 
in 1905 to Swanage, and now occupies a handsome build- 
ing, with forty beds, at that place. A multitude of 
touching letters assured the Bishop of the gratitude and 
affection she had earned at Oxford and Salisbury. 



Mrs. Wordsworth died on the 23rd June, 1894. The 
Bishop's visitation had been carried out at the six usual 
centres between the 29th May and the nth June, and he 
had been able to deliver the addresses himself. It is 
not wonderful that they were slight, and limited to the 
topics of the day. They were published with a prefatory 
letter to the clergy and churchwardens, dated the day 
before his wife died, in which he said : — 

" God has shadowed this house with a great sorrow ; but 
it has made me feel more than ever the opportunities of 
religious life in our English homes, and I trust that you will 
also use them to the full while you are, by God's mercy, stiU 
permitted to do so. Let each family strive to be a little Church 
in itself, united closely with the Catholic Church of Christ, 
but realising its own educational functions and duties and its 
own blessed interior peace and holiness." 

The Bishop resumed his work on the nth July, but 
it was manifest that he was unequal to it. It happened 
that at this very time Mr. Frederic Wallis, one of his 
chaplains, was elected to the bishopric of Wellington, 
New Zealand, and it — 

" was suggested to the Bishop that he might offer to take part 
in the consecration of his friend and fellow-labourer in his new 
home, and at the same time derive great benefit from the 
voyage there and back at a time in his life when such a break 
seems most desirable." 


The Archbishop approved. ^ Dr. Yeatman Biggs, 
then Bishop of Southwark, now of Worcester, undertook 
the episcopal work, careful arrangements were made 
for the diocesan business, and on the i6th November 
Bishop Wordsworth sailed, accompanied by the Bishop 
elect and his wife.^ 

He has given so full and lively an account of his 
experiences in the Diocesan Gazette,^ that little need 
be said here. The narrative is better told and more 
full of matter than most volumes of travel. In days 
to come it will be an authority on the state of those new 
countries at the end of the nineteenth century. The 
diocese was thoroughly interested in the story, and the 
Gazette was read as never before. The public was admitted 
into the writer's intimacy ; it was all natural and con- 
fidential without being trivial. On the outward voyage 
there was a Greek Testament class, a Dante class, a Bible 
class for the less educated. There were, as occasion 
offered, services for passengers of all ranks and much 
personal intercourse. And always, with his extra- 
ordinary memory and interest in individuals, the Bishop 
was finding points of contact. People or places formed 
the link ; to him it was real and he tried to turn it to 
account. There is a note of natural sadness in some of 
his reflections : — 

" I cannot help thinking again and again what a blessing 
my dearest wife would have been to this party,* how she 

1 His letter (24th August, 1894) 'was somewhat Spartan. " You 
must not think much of not sleeping above five hours at your advancing 
age. I have scarcely ever slept above ten minutes more than that since 
I was thirty." 

* Mr. Wallis had just married Miss Margaret Williams, a sister of 
the future Mrs. Wordsworth. 

* His letters run from January to August, 1895. Some of them were 
printed in numbers issued after his return. 

* On the S.S. Ormuz, in which he sailed to Australia. 



would have given spirit and fun to them all and helped many, 
perhaps for life, by a few serious words now and then. I feel 
wretchedly inadequate, but I go on with my sermons and 
Bible class. The Bible class is interesting, as being that sort 
of chance gathering that suggests such numberless possibilities. 
The constituents are held together by external pressure, but 
when they separate will scatter very wide. God grant they 
may carry some of His seed ! " 

He had resolved that in his travels he would not only 
see as much but also do as much work for the Church as 
possible ; and he undertook it in the belief that, repre- 
senting the experience of the Mother Church, he was 
offering more than his own individual services. He was 
not sparing of his suggestions for the strengthening of the 
social, the ecclesiastical, and even the political life of the 
young communities which he was visiting. He was an 
imperialist, if a sane one, and was thankful for what he 
saw. But he found something to criticise. In New 
Zealand he notices — 

" the attempt to make every one more or less comfortable on 
purely civil lines. I seem to see something like Switzerland 
growing out of it — an intelligent but hard society of small 
people. But of course the conditions and especially the close- 
ness of surroundings are very unlike." 

Two drawbacks which forced themselves on his 
attention were secular education and religious rivalry. 
He wrote to Archbishop Benson ^ on these aspects of 
New Zealand life : — 

" The great defect is the working of the secular system in 
elementary education. The result is lamentable ignorance, 
and much indifference to religion and magazine agnosticism. 
I have done all I could to help on the movement for some 
recognition of religion on the Sydney plan, and I believe it 
might be carried if Churchmen were accustomed to act together 
1 At sea, 13th March, 1895. 


strenuously in elections, local, municipal, and parliamentary. 
But they have gone in for protests and petitions, and largely 
shirked doing their part in making what they could out of the 
status quo. It makes me miserable and indignant to hear 
good men speak as if they had served God by having nothing 
to do with the secular system. If they had sat on School 
Committees from the beginning they might have almost 
transformed it by this time. But they have let these Com- 
mittees get into Presbyterian and Wesleyan or indifferent 
hands, and these see that the Bible in schools means an 
opportunity at any rate of teaching Church doctrine, and out 
of jealousy and fear they often prefer to keep things as they 
are, and even forbid teaching out of school hours in the school 
buildings, which the law contemplates. It is a miserable 
result of sectarianism, which in New Zealand means four 
or five ministers trying to get a hving out of a parish which 
can only comfortably support one or two. And this touch 
with the commercial element of calculation is degrading to 
religion all round. There is little bitterness and personal 
hostility, but much jealousy." 

But he found more pleasure in making suggestions 
than criticisms. Thus, for instance, after his return he 
wrote to Bishop Wallis on a problem which was exercising 
the Church in New Zealand, that of women's share in its 
government ^ : — 

" I wish I could help you in regard to the woman's franchise 
question. It seems to me that household suffrage is the right 
thing, and that the Christian family is the true (Church) 
elemental unit. I could readily go so far as to sanction a 
woman householder having a vote, but not at present further. 
Among us a woman householder may be a churchwarden and 
has a municipal franchise. I have had several female church- 
wardens, and have one now. Why should you not propose 
this as an experiment — that every woman, being a member of 
the Church, who is also a ratepayer should have the vote ? 

" The Scriptural authority, to which attention has no 

1 4th August, 1895. 


doubt been called again and again in your debates, appears 
to be chiefly in two passages of St. Paul's Epistles, i Cor. xiv., 
33, 34, and i Tim. ii. I2. (i) It is not improbable that the 
last part of v. 33, ' as in all the churches of the saints,' 
belongs to this subject and is the authority of precedent on 
which St. Paul relies in laying down the principle, ' Let the 
women keep silence in the churches,' i.e. the assemblies, 
whether for worship or debate, ' for it is not permitted unto 
them to speak, but let them be in subjection, as also saith 
the law,' the reference being apparently to Gen. iii. 16. (2) In 
I Tim. ii. 12, 'I permit not a woman to teach nor to have 
dominion over a man, but to be in quietness,' it is a question 
whether ' to teach ' is absolute or means ' to teach her husband.' 
It would in any case, I think, forbid pubhc ministry of the word 
in the congregation, since her husband might be one of the 
number, and a fortiori I suppose other women's husbands 
would be excluded. 

" Throughout I think it is clear that by ' women ' we are 
to understand married women. It does not seem to have 
been a practical suggestion that unmarried women, who 
were clearly stiU regarded as being under parental control 
(see I Cor. vii. 36), should take up such a position. The other 
clearly was thought of and debated, and decided adversely 
to their claims at that time. 

" I am inclined to think that we have not advanced far 
enough to break down the barriers of control, under which 
women living in a family, either as wives, daughters, or 
servants, or single women living in lodgings at present are, 
as regards taking part in the government of the Church. 
I think that the Church cannot afford to try experiments, 
as the State in a small community like New Zealand appears 
to be able to do. Our work is for eternity, and we must 
go slowly and surely. 

" But there is a new class of women called forth by civili- 
sation — heads of families, ratepayers, and the like, whose 
case St. Paul obviously did not have before him. They may 
have existed, e.g. Lydia at Phihppi, in a small degree, but 
with nothing hke the frequency of modern life. To such 
women I would give the franchise, but not allowing them 
either to ' speak in church,' i.e. to be members of the Synod, 


or to ' teach,' i.e. to be ministers of the congregation. It 
seems to me that the Synod is an assembly of the Church 
for purposes of doctrine, and that all members of it are 
potentially clergy. On the other hand, so far as Church or 
State assembhes are not concerned with doctrine, precedent 
is rather in favour of their having a position." 

The chief events of the journey were an ordination 
at Adelaide before Christmas, the consecration of Bishop 
Wallis on the 25th January at Wellington, and a confirma- 
tion at Suva, in Fiji, on the homeward way across the 
Pacific. But the interest lay in great part in the obser- 
vation of things and of people. Plants and birds and 
building stones, the art of erecting a dome as exemplified 
in a new English church at Port Said, the principles of 
Maori architecture, the structure of the Maori and Fijian 
languages were some of the objects of attention. The 
Bishop was sure that he would soon have become proficient 
in colloquial Maori. In the leisure of his voyages — he 
travelled on no less than eleven vessels, for distances long 
or short — the Bishop resumed the composition of poetry. 
Of several sonnets which he published in his Diocesan 
Gazette one may be repeated here. It was addressed to 
his friend Miss Yonge. He belonged to the generation that 
had been touched by her stories, and for him, as for her, 
the deeds of Selwyn and of Patteson and the early history 
of the Melanesian Mission were among the most stimulating 
of Christian achievements. 

To Miss C. M. Yonge. 
The " Daisy Chain " and Mission Buildings at Kohimdrama. 

" Blest is the power that can inform the heart 

Through imaged scenes or forms ; can so impress 
The gazer's eye, that he doth straight possess 
What time or space by distance long dispart. 


But yet more blessed is that writer's art 
Who fills the minds of readers numberless 
With noble thoughts and aims of saintliness. 

Such, Lady, was and is thy happy part 

To trace the beauties of an English home. 
To teach our children how their lives may set 

To help each other upward and become 
Like Guy or Felix, Richard, Margaret, 

Ethel or Norman. Hard it were to sum 
The debt we owe to thee, and harder yet 

'Neath these gray buildings which to far-off men 

Proclaim the consecration of thy pen." 

The long journey had improved his health, though the 
exertions he had made and the damp heat of the voyage 
across the Pacific lessened the benefit. The last stages 
were a rapid journey in the railway from Vancouver to 
New York and a passage to Liverpool. Thence he went 
to Oxford, " still more like home than any place on 
earth," on a visit to old Mrs, Coxe, and reached Salisbury 
in time for the Diocesan Synod, which had been summoned, 
before he sailed, for a date a week later than was usual. 
It was held on the 2nd and 3rd May, 1895, and the Bishop 
immediately entered upon his confirmation tour, punctual 
to the days arranged. But there was still a pensiveness 
about his thoughts, as when he discoursed to a friend ^ 
on the problem of pain : — 

" Pain seems to me to be connected with limitation, the 
squeezing up of anything either in space or time. It will 
not belong to the future life, because there will be liberty 
there, that is, power of indefinite growth on all sides, though 
there will be (as St. Irenaeus well says and St. Paul implies) 
still faith and hope, i.e. always something unattained but before 
us as attainable. Hence, while it is difficult to accept James 
Hinton's point of view, I think we need not consider pain 
in itself an evil thing. If it could be spread out and expanded 

' The Rev. G. F. Hooper, 31st October, 1895. 


it would probably be a good thing, and religion helps us to 
do this to a great extent. Death, for instance, is a necessary 
thing so long as we are in the body. It is only in its mode that 
it is a curse — at least if I read Scripture right. I always like 
Hesiod's description — 

dvrjCTKOV S' (JS VTTVO) BeSlXTjfJ.ivOl. 

' They died as men o'erpowered by sleep lie down.' 

To some it is little more than a ' translation,' as Miss Durnford 
said of her father 1 recently." 

And so he wrote to his friend Bishop Wallis 2 : — 

" God seems graciously to bless our thoughts and to let 
us carry them out, but of course we feel that it is always 
a matter of daily permission which He may think fit at any time 
to withdraw." 

He was at once involved in two tasks, one pressed upon 
him by public duty and the other by family affection, 
which compelled him to dwell upon the specific qualities 
of the Anglican Church. Just before his voyage there had 
begun those negotiations (if that be the right term) 
between the Abbe Portal and Lord Halifax on the one 
side and Archbishop Benson on the other which led to a 
widespread discussion of English Orders and a Roman 
decision on the subject. In that debate, as will be seen, 
the Bishop took his share. While he was engaged in it, 
he was also employed in studying the problems of reunion 
in Scotland. He had undertaken to complete the 
biography of his uncle, the Bishop of St. Andrews, whose 
life had been devoted to the reconciliation of Episco- 
palians and Presbyterians in the country of his adoption. 
This work also finds mention hereafter. The considera- 
tions thus brought before his mind led him to emphasise, 
quite in the spirit of Bishop Creighton, the special powers 

'■ Bishop Durnford, of Chichester, had just died on the 14th October. 
' 4th August, 1895. 


and opportunities of his Church. Thus at the Norwich 
Church Congress in 1895 — no Bishop took more frequent 
part in such congresses than he — he expounded his views : — 

" At the Reformation in England the way was prepared 
for exhibiting such a new type of Christianity as was necessary 
for the further development of the Universal Church. The 
revolt against errors, and the return to primitive and Catholic 
truth, were both necessary — but mainly as the prelude to 
this higher and more worldwide mission. Without criticising 
Greek or Roman, Protestant or Reformed, we may say that 
the Anglican Church has a call to be something different from 
any of them, and for their sakes almost as much as for our 
own. If only we could realise the Lord's word when He was 
taking up His Cross, ' For their sakes I sanctify myself that 
they themselves also may be sanctified in truth ' (John xvii. 19) . 
We have work to do which they cannot do, which would other- 
wise be left undone, which our previous history and discipline, 
and our present opportunities, give us facilities for doing, and 
which no other Christian society can reach. It would be 
treason to the whole of Christendom to falter or turn back 
in this work." 

He was soon to enter upon a new domestic life. His 
home had been governed for him since Mrs. Wordsworth's 
death by his sister. Miss Susan Wordsworth, afterwards 
Head of the Southwark Diocesan Society of Grey Ladies. ^ 
On the 2nd January, 1896, he married Mary Anne Frances, 
eldest daughter of Colonel Robert Williams, of Bridehead, 
M.P. for West Dorset. Of this marriage were born in 
due time four sons and two daughters. The Bishop, as 
many families in the diocese knew well, was devoted to 
children. From his own experience he was able to tell 
a friend, 2 " Children are certainly a great blessing ; not 
only a tie to the world but a detachment from it, for each 
has an eternal side very manifest." 

^ Miss S. Wordsworth died in 191 2. 

* The Rev. G. F. Hooper, 22nd August, 1906. 


The next two years were fully occupied by literary 
work, especially the life of Bishop Charles Wordsworth, 
by the Roman controversy, the current phase of which 
ended in March, 1898, with the reply of the Archbishops 
to Cardinal Vaughan's Vindication oj the Bull Apostolicae 
Curae. Amid these labours came the Lambeth Con- 
ference, in which the Bishop took a large part. He was 
charged by Archbishop Temple to translate its Resolu- 
tions into Latin. Whether, as he had done in 1888, 
he translated them also into Greek I do not know. In 
any case he was commissioned by the Archbishop to 
present them ceremoniously to the great prelates of the 
East, and left England for the purpose on the 30th 
December, 1897.^ He reached his home again on the 
28th February, having visited Alexandria, Cairo, and Port 
Said, Cyprus, where he spent a week, Beyrout, Damascus, 
Galilee, Jerusalem, Jaffa, Alexandria once more, Athens 
and Constantinople, whence he returned by land. He 
presented the Resolutions to the Greek Patriarch at 
Alexandria, a venerable pontiff whose age was variously 
given as 104 or 108, and the Coptic Patriarch at Cairo, 
in whose Church he was already deeply interested. There 
he formed plans, of which only a small part has been 
executed, for the education of the Copts and especially 
of their clergy. His recorded impression of Egypt was — 

" in this country the power of persevering human labour, the 
great influence of the instinct of worship, and the expression 
of sympathy with human mortality are felt perhaps more 
deeply than in any other part of the globe, and felt all three of 
them with something hke equal force. Our Lord may have 
been a child of over a year old when brought into Egypt, and 
may have been intended to receive impressions as to His 
human soul from the wonderful sights about him. Certainly 

1 Letters describing this journey ran in the Diocesan Gazette from 
March to July, 1898. 


Egypt has lessons for all of us, especially perhaps for English- 

In Cyprus he found a rural clergy " intellectually 
about on the level of our English parish clerks, and 
socially on that of our very smallest farmers," Here 
again he framed schemes for clerical education, and 
suggested that, after the pattern of England in 1836, an 
Ecclesiastical Commission should be appointed to redis- 
tribute the revenues of the local Church. In Syria he 
carefully examined the various missions with which he 
came in contact, and interviewed several Bishops, one of 
whom was — 

" something of a theologian. I talked with him about our 
Baptism. He argued, ' We cannot say that Western Baptism 
is valid ; only that it is valid when a person is willing to join 
the Orthodox Church.' " 

On his way over the mountains towards Damascus 
the train was stopped by snow, and the Bishop, who seems 
not to have had his luggage with him, spent St. Paul's 
Day at Baalbek. That he might celebrate the Holy 
Communion he borrowed the robes of the Greek priest 
of the place. 

From Damascus, where he could not fulfil his commis- 
sion, the patriarchal see being vacant, he made his way 
through the Hauran and by boat across the Lake of Galilee 
to Nazareth, observing Jewish colonies and Christian 
missions as he passed. At Nazareth he wished to see a 
brightening of the austere services of the Church Missionary 
Society. A surpliced choir and a more liberal use of music 
would, he thought, impress and stimulate the local Greeks. 
The general result upon his mind of his observation of 
Palestine was expressed in a very Wordsworthian 
passage : — 

"It is evident that its people must be chiefly frugal 


mountaineers, shepherds, and most careful and laborious 
cultivators of vines and olives in order to earn a living from 
the soil. Such men naturally become hardy, warUke, and 
thoughtful. They are sufficiently near the world to know 
its thoughts and its ways ; sufficiently far from it to be able 
to criticise and to estimate them at their true worth." 

At Jerusalem visits of state were paid to the Greek 
and Armenian Patriarchs and to other dignified clergy, 
and a careful study of the antiquities, so far as time 
allowed, was made. Then, by way of Jaffa, Port Said, 
Alexandria, and Athens, Constantinople was reached, and 
a visit, the most important of all, was paid to the (Ecu- 
menical Patriarch, to whom the Resolutions of Lambeth 
were presented and with whom converse was held on 
the relations of the Churches. Soon afterwards, as a 
practical token of sympathy, the Bishop and other English 
friends gave to the see of Constantinople a press for the 
printing of an edition of the Greek Testament. 

A sequel to this visit to the East was a lecture at 
Oxford to the Summer School for Clergy on " The Church 
of England and the Eastern Patriarchates." ^ It shows 
a profound knowledge of detail, much of it of his own dis- 
covery, on the famous Cyril Lucar, the English chaplaincy 
at Aleppo, Greek students at Oxford in the seventeenth 
century, and so forth. It had a practical purpose ; it 
ends with " Blessed are the peacemakers." In this 
singularly busy year the Bishop issued his Considerations 
on Public Worship, which was thrice reprinted within 
twelve months, and is his most important contribution 
to the subject of ritual. In 1898 also the edition of the 
Vulgate Gospels was completed by the publication of the 
fifth fasciculus. 

It had been hoped that in the journey to Jerusalem 
two objects might be accomplished. One of them was 

1 Not published till 1902 (Oxford, Parker) and still in print. 


disappointed. St. George's Church, which was being 
built as a Cathedral for the English Bishop in Jerusalem, 
was not ready for consecration. The Bishop of Salisbury 
had been appointed by Archbishop Temple to act as his 
representative for this purpose as well as for the visit 
to the Patriarchs. During the summer the building was 
finished, and the Bishop arranged to consecrate it on St. 
Luke's Day, the i8th October. ^ The occasion was one 
after his own heart, and he did not grudge the time and 
cost. It enabled him to display in action the results of 
his long study of the history and the principles involved 
in the consecration of churches. On his former visit 
he had been careful to invite the chief ecclesiastics of 
Jerusalem to the ceremony, and when it was held the 
representatives of many Churches and the consuls of 
eight nations were present. The service, at which the 
Bishop preached and took the chief part, was worthy of 
the occasion. The Bishop's throne, modelled on St. 
Augustine's chair at Canterbury, was his own gift to the 
Cathedral, and it was at his suggestion that four episco- 
pal canonries were established in it. Of one of them he 
was the first occupant. He was at home on the loth 
November ; his whole absence, during which he had re- 
visited Alexandria and Cairo as well as Jerusalem, had 
been only for three weeks. 

During these two Eastern journeys he had been as 
observant as ever. Inscriptions, ancient as well as those 
of the crusading time, were diligently copied and inter- 
preted. He made a beginning of Arabic, written and 
colloquial, and was able to confirm in that tongue at 
Nablous. He studied the fishes of the Lake of Tiberias 
and noted many natural phenomena. The architecture 
of the country, the vestments of the Oriental clergy and 

1 This journey is narrated in letters to the Diocesan Gazette from 
December, 1898, to March, 1899. 


the comparative merits of the missions at work in Pales- 
tine were examined and described ; and in particular 
a detailed record was made of the persons employed in 
religious work, their characteristics and their circum- 
stances. It was very natural that the knowledge so 
acquired, together with previous familiarity with Euro- 
pean conditions, should have led the Anglo-Continental 
Society ^ to elect him its President in place of Dr. Maclagan, 
Archbishop of York. This was on the i6th November, 
immediately after his return from the East, and the office 
was one which he took very seriously. In everything 
except the number of its members it throve in his hands. 

In this same year, 1898, he bought the beechwood and 
the steep hillside below it on the slope of Harnham Hill 
nearest to Salisbury. On the ridge there had been a 
rough sheep track to which, though the land was private 
property, the public had had access. The Bishop 
broadened it out to a convenient path, which he extended 
to join the older " Dean's Path " to the west. He 
wished his work to be known as the " Bishop's Path," 
and in a letter to the Mayor of Salisbury made known 
his desire that the people should freely enjoy it, with its 
unequalled view over the city and Cathedral, so long 
as good order were observed. This freehold enabled him 
to indulge in his favourite pastime of building. First 
one, and then a second house was erected ; and soon he 
was planning the acquisition of his cottage, to which he 
added by degrees as his household increased, on the shore 
of Lul worth Cove. This retreat in Dorset came to be not 
only a home but a centre of hospitality. 

The next few years, though busy, were uneventful. 
The interests which filled them, apart from the routine of 
diocesan work, fall within the scope of the chapters which 
follow this. A few incidents and utterances are chosen, 

' For its history, see p. 93. 


almost at random. On the igth February, 1899, he 
preached at Oxford, and wrote to a sister ^ : — 

" I enjoyed my sermon to undergraduates on i Peter ii. 21, 
showing that the application of the idea of partaking in 
Christ's sufferings was made to the slaves and household 
servants because they formed a class specially needing help 
in those days. The class which specially needs help now 
is one which does not suffer oppression, but needs to be drawn 
out of its comfortableness and self-suf&ciency. The side of 
the mystery of the Incarnation now needed is not so much 
the actual picture of the sufferings of Christ as the remembrance 
who He was (and is) that so stooped to a narrow and patient 

In 1 90 1 he wrote the inscription for the piece of plate 
presented to the present Archbishop of Canterbury by 
King Edward after the death of Queen Victoria : — 





E. R. I. 


On the 22nd February, 1902, he preached, being the 
first person outside the communion of the Church of 
Scotland to do so for 230 years, in King's College, Aber- 
deen, and delivered the Murtle Lecture before that 
University. His subject was, " The bearing of the study 
of Church history on some of the problems of home 
reunion," and in it he suggested " a common catechism, 
a book of instruction on the Bible and on Church history 
with the elements of Christian doctrine, drawn up by 
leading men of England and Scotland," which might be 
introduced into State schools in England, Scotland, and 

^ To Miss Susan Wordsworth, 22nd February, 1899. 


the Colonies. He was about this time paying frequent 
visits to Scotland in search of material for the life of 
Bishop Charles Wordsworth and for suggestions towards 
the reunion to which his uncle had devoted his efforts. 
On these visits he preached, and printed, sermons on 
occasions more or less memorable. ^ In 1902 he was 
threatened with a serious illness. He recovered after 
a course of German waters and a visit to the Engadine, 
which prevented his attendance at the Coronation of 
King Edward. In 1903, he ministered, as Bishop King 
of Lincoln did in a like case, to a convict under sentence 
of death in Devizes gaol. He paid him more than one 
visit, confirmed the man, administered to him the Holy 
Communion, wrote to him before his execution, and was 
able to think with comfort of his state. 

In 1905 the Bishop presided over the annual Church 
Congress, which was held at Weymouth. It was well 
organised and all passed happily. He wrote his impression 
to Bishop Wallis ^ : — 

" The papers say it was a success. Certainly it was a very 
pleasant and devotional time, unmarred by any bitterness or 
bad taste or personal jealousy. The stalwarts made out that it 
was dull, and both extremes abused the Bishop of London's 
sermon, and (for all I know) my presidential address, which 
was somewhat on the same lines. . . . The Revivals meeting 
was fuU of inspiration, and must have done good to all who 
were present at it. That on the devotional study of the Old 
Testament was too apologetic in parts. The devotional 
meeting did not tackle the real problem, how to deepen the 
consciousness of sin, etc. We ought to have been told how 
people come to be indifferent to sin, and how they should be 

' On the loth October, 1900, at the annual meeting of the Scottish 
Episcopalian Church's Representative Council, in St. Mary's Cathedral, 
Edinburgh ; on the 30th July, 1901, at the dedication of the Chapter 
House of St. Ninian's Cathedral, Perth, built in memory of Bishop 
Charles Wordsworth. 

' 20th October. 


made to care more. The subject is worthy of a good deal 
of deep thought. But the whole impression of the meeting 
was excellent." 

In 1905 the Bishop completed twenty years of episco- 
pate, and on the 8th November he was presented with 
a service of plate and with his portrait for the Palace, 
painted by Sir George Reid. There were nine hundred 
subscribers, and speeches of gratitude.^ 

The death of Mr. Clifford Wyndham Holgate, barrister- 
at-law, a Brasenose pupil and from 1885 the Bishop's 
legal secretary and close friend, had happened in 1903, 
soon after his promotion to the Chancellorship of the 
Diocese. He was succeeded in the secretaryship by Mr. 
Carnegy Johnson, barrister-at-law, with some of whose 
reminiscences this chapter may end. 

" It needed some months' knowledge of the Bishop to 
find that, as no one ever quite came up to his expectations, 
he had become so inured to looking for more than he got that 
it came as no surprise to him to find gaps. At first one felt 
mortified, and he probably wished it as a salutary incentive. 
Later on one was more apt to wonder how much ignorance 
the Bishop would stand. For he was wonderfully tolerant 
of stupidity, unless he thought you were complacent ; then 
he did not puncture your vanity, but disembowelled it. I 
remember on our way back from Marlborough once deliberately 
challenging his remarks on a subject on which I ' fancied 
myself.' An article in a popular magazine had been written 
from notes and materials which I had supplied. I had not 
seen it till I was at the bookstall : bought it, and in the 
course of the wearisome journey showed it to the Bishop. He 
was quickl}/ on the warpath with ' Why ? . . . Why ? . . . 
Why ? ' and because I was rather uppish he did not drop the 
subject till he had demolished all my defences. But to show 
vexation over one's own mistakes was almost certain to gain 

1 Sir G. Reid painted a second picture, whicli was given to Mrs. 
Wordsworth. The Bishop had a copy made for his school. 


prompt forgiveness. Sometimes I would have to go to the 
Bishop with, ' My Lord, I have got into a tangle with so and 
so,' and without a grumble he would bring all his mind to 
bear upon the matter so that the man or place should not suffer. 
' If we have got him into this hole we must get him out again.' 
How generous he was of that ' we ' in identifying himself with 
the mistakes of his agents ! Once I said, when in difficulty, 
' I come to you for advice about this ; not to get you to say 
it was your fault.' He smiled and said, ' My shoulders are 
broader than yours, dear fellow. Write " The Bishop much 
regrets, etc." ' 

" Once, when I was in attendance, the Bishop was with a 
person who, when I was introduced to him, cross-examined 
me on my qualifications, or lack of them, for my position. I 
came off badly in the matter of shorthand : ' Surely it would 
be of the greatest use to take down the exact words of such a 
master of English as the Bishop.' I was uncomfortable, as 
there was a great deal of truth in it, but I was consoled by 
knowing the Bishop was worse off than I. The flattery was 
gross and inartistic, and he was equally unwiUing to accept 
it and to seem disloyal to a subordinate. At last he said in 
those curiously hard, dry tones which meant discomfort of 
some kind, ' He has a quick brain and generally grasps my 
meaning accurately enough.' However, the man was quite 
right ; I often wished I could take down the exact words for 
a difficult letter, so lightly hit off by the Bishop, even though 
it were in parenthesis and he had been interrupted when deep 
in some other subject. At times I had to go back to the 
Bishop and tell him that I could not get the phrasing of some 
document right : ' Oh, very well, I will dictate it.' I never 
remember his grumbling at these failures to catch his expres- 
sions as well as his general intention. A draft or a proof- 
sheet seldom, if ever, escaped some revision, especially if it 
were his own work. But he was usually very merciful to a 
final letter unless the correction were on a point of importance. 
Then, ' May I use this as a draft ? ' Every sentence was 
rewritten, new-born additions festooned the margins and were 
asterisked on to the back of the sheet. 

" Those who have known the Bishop better and longer 
than I will be more competent to say what appreciation he 



had of things beautiful. I should suggest that it was almost 
subordinate to higher considerations. He wrote, for instance, 
the most beautiful prayers and therefore could no doubt 
appreciate the beautiful prayers of others, found in the httle 
book used in the Palace chapel. But he would often utterly 
destroy their balance and rhythm by special petitions, lists 
of places urgently in his mind, and so forth. The beauty of 
his pastoral staff went for nothing as soon as he reaUsed a 
symbol on it that offended him doctrinally. But another 
staff which he possessed had no such drawback, and it had 
the first place in his esteem because it had been his father's, 
though to my mind it was simple even to meanness.i 

" The little prayer with which he inaugurated all kinds of 
proceedings impressed from its sheer naturalness. If one was 
not expecting it, was not in the vein for it, or was looking for 
something purely secular, one glance at his face as he stood 
there was enough to make one feel that a prayer to him at 
least, then and there, was essential, not the mere form appro- 
priate to a high ecclesiastic. In the same way he could invest 
a little ceremony with real dignity of ritual, though the acts 
in more self-conscious hands would have bordered on the 
ludicrous. He once blessed a mission van in front of the 
Palace door. It was a garish green thing, and the people 
concerned looked awkward and anxious. The Bishop sent 
out several of his household to the door, and then appeared 
with his chaplain. A suitable hymn was got through some- 
how, with depressing rather than sobering effect, and then 
the Bishop mounted the steps of the van. Big man as he 
was, he seemed in his robes to overflow the Httle stage, absurdly 
disproportionate to his needs. But he was so intent on his 
set business, so clear as to what he wanted to do, and so clear 
how to do it, that all fear of ludicrousness passed away, and 
one was left at the end with the single thought what a helpful 
service it had been. Not how well he had stage-managed it, 
for that was just what he never did. He left that to others 
to do if they liked, and thanked them for their care, trouble, 
and it may be success. And, in the main, he took the place 

^ This was the staff buried with the Bishop. The other is the staff 
that came from Radley ; see p, 296. 


assigned him and carried out the arrangements made for him 
in services involving large numbers. But in his own services, 
arrangements seemed to evolve as things went on. ' Keep 
your eye on the Bishop ' was my advice, when doubtful as 
to what exactly was going to happen, to some one who was 
to take part in it. 

" I need not touch on the Bishop's boundless kindness and 
sympathy with those in trouble. There will be an army 
of witnesses to this if gratitude exists. People who have 
experienced it will be anxious to get it recorded if only to 
correct the idea that the Bishop was a hard, austere, absent- 
minded scholar, too much wrapped up in abstruse problems 
to be able, or to care, to see the thousand things which make 
up modern practical life. I would like people with these 
notions to have seen him mending the lock on the kitchen 
door, approving, correcting, or objecting to proposed sales 
of glebe, sanitary improvements in benefice houses, or 
exchanges of patronage ; teaching his children their lessons 
or his clergy their business, secular as weU as religious ; hitting 
the nail exactly on the head with some remark which showed 
that this absent-minded dignitary had heard every word of 
an earlier conversation when he had seemingly, at some 
distance, been wrapped in a learned tome or in a reverie ; 
checking biUs, planning fresh buildings, or paying his servants' 
wages ; catechising every visitor who had special knowledge 
and amazing him with the amount the Bishop already knew 
on the subject. I do not mean merely learned matters, 
but up-to-date topics, agricultural, scientific, political, or 

" Among outsiders it was commonly held that of course 
the Bishop had no sense of humour. This of a man who could 
refer at a pubhc meeting to the General Manager of the local 
Bank as ' Our friend to whom we all owe so much — at least 
I do.' Or, to quote a really discreditable utterance for the 
sake of the illustration — [but here Mr. Johnson records a 
pun which would certainly have been immortalised by Dean 
Burgon in his Twelve Good Men] . I have chosen an instance 
of this kind in preference over those of the dry humour with 
which he would delight a Diocesan Synod, because I know that 
a certain grim humour is conceded to Scotsmen and other 


intellectuals, without any admission that the charge of 
austerity is thereby rebutted. 

" No one was more devoid than the Bishop of an episcopal 
' manner ' on great occasions. At the end of a long procession 
he would walk along, sometimes a little lame, with his hands 
clasped behind him. At times he would turn and give an 
order to one of those attending him. But with all his natural, 
unself-conscious ways, he was the big man of the ceremony, 
and though at ordinary functions he would have been the 
despair of a Master of Ceremonies, that officer (nowhere needed 
more than at Salisbury) would have been repaid tenfold 
by the Bishop on special occasions. Nothing could be more 
graceful than the attention which he paid to some high foreign 
dignitary, some Eastern Archbishop or Patriarch, and yet it 
was never overdone or fussy. He would escort him to the 
Sanctuary before ascending the throne, but after that, mindful 
of the dignity of his own Cathedral Church, he would tell off 
the Precentor or some other persona as a guide to the Oriental 
guest, or send him a book or a message by one of his chaplains. 

" There were other times when he would assume the 
episcopal manner. One was when he was doing a kindly 
action, and perhaps wanted to carry it off quickly. When the 
Lord Chancellor and the two Archbishops, the Committee 
who had the statutory power to do so, reduced ecclesiastical 
fees in 1908, several of the Bishops, whose sympathy with the 
poverty of their clergy did not bHnd their eyes to the hardships 
brought upon the officials, wrote to see whether a general 
agreement by all the Bishops could not be arrived at, by which 
they should make up part, if not all, of the income of which 
their officials had thus been deprived, especially as it was not 
urged that the fees were too large, but simply that the clergy 
were too poor. Our Bishop replied that ' he did not see his 
way, considering the existing calls on his income as Bishop, 
to burden it further against himself and his successors.' A 
week or so later he sent for me to his study, and as soon as 
he began to speak I thought there was something seriously 
wrong : ' Mr. Johnson, in future I must ask you to render 
me a very careful account of all the fees you receive. I shall 
of course make up the deficiency, to the amount I told you 
the place was worth when I asked you to come here. I could 


never look you in the face if I brought you here on one under- 
standing and then let your income be reduced for outside 
reasons by £100 a year.' And every half-year, when I pro- 
duced my statement, he, who ordinarily looked over accounts 
so carefully item by item, would glance at the total and at 
once say to his chaplain, ' Make out a cheque to Mr. Johnson,' 
for whatever was the amount of the deficit. It was only from 
thought for his successors that he let himself appear to the 
other Bishops in this rather hard and unsympathetic light, 
while acting with both generosity and forethought. 

"If at one of the Palace ' hotel-lunches ' the haphazard 
collection of guests settled down together fairly well, the 
Bishop, after a hard and long morning's work, would often 
be rather silent and abstracted, though it was safest to assume 
that he heard every remark made round the table. But when 
the company, ranging from the family itself and clergy who 
were to be instituted to benefices or had come in from the 
country for advice to ladies of the Girls' Friendly Society or 
the Women's Union, appeared a httle depressed, the Bishop 
would rouse himself to be conversational. At the end of 
one lunch with rather sombre guests, teetotal, demure, or 
nervous, the Bishop said to several successively, ' Will you 
have some wine ? Will you ? Will you ? ' All refused, and 
looked so abstinent and almost pained by the suggestion that 
the Bishop as he rose remarked, ' At times a wave of temper- 
ance comes over the diocese which really makes it very 
difficult for me to get my wine drunk at aU.' Another time 
at the end of a lunch every one had folded up his napkin 
tidily except one who had crushed it down in a heap beside 
his plate. The Bishop, while waiting for coffee, was moving 
about, talking and discussing the portraits on the walls. He 
caught sight of the crumpled napkin and looked at it severely. 
And each time it caught his eye it seemed to check what he 
was sa5dng, so that soon everybody noticed it, and none more 
than the offender. The rest looked amused, well satisfied 
and thankful that they were not as this pubhcan, till the 
Bishop finally looked at the dehnquent and said, ' I am glad 
to see that there is at all events one who is wilUng to come and 
lunch with me again.' He could at times dispel gloom, if 
he could also create it." 


At this point it seems best to forsake the order of 
time, and devote special chapters to the Bishop's acts 
and views in regard to the constitution and law of the 
Church, then to his pastoral and liturgical works and 
interests, and finally to his efforts for the reunion of 



With the translation of Bishop Burgess from St. Davids 
in 1825 began a Hne of Bishops at Sahsbury, all Oxford 
men, all scholars and all leaders in the Church, of whom 
John Wordsworth was the fifth. For a century before 
Burgess the Bishops, though some of them were eminent 
in various ways, had not been active as administrators. 
The last whose career could be compared with that of the 
Bishops of the nineteenth century had been Gilbert Burnet, 
a prelate whose pastoral merits have been concealed by 
partisan hostility. Bishop Wordsworth was his pro- 
fessed admirer. The modern organisation which Burgess 
had initiated was unusually complete and efficient, and 
Bishop Moberly had added the finishing touch by founding 
the Diocesan Synod. This was a representative body, 
elected from each Rural Deanery, of clergy and laymen ; 
though the suggestion was made that the name should 
be changed to the conventional " Conference," Bishop 
Wordsworth, after consideration, retained that which 
Moberly had chosen. It was, and is, one of the most 
successful bodies of its kind ; the attendance is larger, 
the debates brisker, and the spirit warmer than in some 
more populous and less scattered dioceses. The Bishop 
was proud of it. In 1893 he was visiting a Conference 
elsewhere, and says of it : — 

" This Conference is nothing like ours in effectiveness and 
dignity. Of course ours was moulded into its present shape 


by the late Bishop and Archdeacon Sanctuary and the 
secretary, Middleton.^ I have done nothing for it except 
to carry on its good tradition." 

He did, however, of his own responsibility at once add 
to it as unelected members the quattuor personae of the 
Cathedral, viz. the Dean, Precentor, Chancellor, and 
Treasurer. Its value, things being as they are, was 
chiefly that it enabled thought to find expression, and not 
least that it gave the Bishop, in his addresses as president, 
the opportunity of surveying the whole field of Church 
life for the instruction of his audience. It caused him 
at times acute disappointment, for resolutions, passed 
perhaps unanimously, seemed to him to pledge the 
members to a definite course of action, while many of them 
were apt to consider that they had simply expressed an 
abstract opinion which bound them to no specific efforts. 
And he did not succeed — indeed, he did not make the 
attempt — in carrying out a scheme of his earlier days for 
giving the Synod financial authority : — 

" I may be wrong, but I believe that one of the most useful 
functions of such a body as our Synod is to consider what 
public appeals for money should or should not be sanctioned 
as Diocesan works. ... As representatives of the Church- 
people of the diocese it seems to me that they — especially the 
lay Synodsmen — ought to perform something like the function 
of the House of Commons in voting money biUs. Only, 
inasmuch as the money is to be given voluntarily, they would, 
by such a vote, pledge themselves to personal exertion in the 
cause of getting the requisite sum together. Of such exertions 
you have shown, with others, an admirable example. . . ." ^ 

Something has been said already of the Bishop's 
respect for his Greater Chapter. He called this body 

1 Mr. H. B. Middleton, of Bradford Peverell, Dorset, was Lay 
Secretary to the Synod from 1871 to 191 1. 
* To Earl Nelson, 12th December, 1887. 


together annually for consultation at Whitsuntide and 
at the annual Commemoration of Benefactors of the 
Cathedral in November, which he instituted in 1889, 
after the pattern which was first set by Peterborough 
in 1881 at the suggestion of Westcott. Archdeacon 
Carpenter describes the procedure at these meetings of 
the Greater Chapter : — 

" The questions discussed were mostly brought forward 
by the Bishop himself ; generally schemes of diocesan action 
which he was anxious to launch. His own personality and 
exhaustive treatment of the subjects he introduced left little 
to be said by anybody else, and I don't think, as a rule, the 
Chapter discussions helped him much, but with characteristic 
simplicity he generally wound up with grateful thanks for 
support, so that he could proceed ' after consultation with 
the Chapter ' to take this or that step. One used to smile 
rather, but it was quite real to him, and I am sure he was 
right to call the Greater Chapter together in this way." 

A more important assembly was the Synod of Clergy 
which the Bishop, following his father's example, sum- 
moned in 1888. The Bishop of Lincoln was the first 
since medieval times to collect all the clergy of a diocese 
for counsel, and it was his vigorous language, contrasting 
a Synod of the totus clerus with a " counterfeit assembly," 
a mixed Conference, that led the son at first to desire a 
change in the name used at Salisbury. ^ The procedure 
at both places was the same ; the clergy in surplices met 
in the Chapter House of the Cathedral, and there debated. 
The purpose at Salisbury was that they should sanction, 
and so make personally binding on themselves, the reso- 
lutions of the recent Lambeth Conference. The assembly 
was repeated in 1897 and 1908,^ and after full discussion 

^ Life of Bishop Christopher Wordsworth, 1878, pp. 230 f. 
* The attendance at the three Synods was 440, 384 and 406 respec- 


the resolutions of the successive Conferences were, with 
one exception, afhmied. In 1908 the recommendation 
that the Prayer-book should be revised received 254 
votes, while the opposition (a curious coalition) numbered 
72, and " as this was not the proportional majority 
required by the standing orders, the resolution did not 
become an Act of the Synod." 

The Bishop took care that his constitutional visitations 
of the diocese should not become a formality. Though 
he did not, after his experiment of 1888, attempt a detailed 
investigation of the morals of the laity, he took care by 
precise questions to discover from the churchwardens 
what went on in the churches ; in his preliminary address 
to the wardens and sidesmen before the visitation of 1903 
he oppealed more suo to history, quoting Archbishop 
Edmund Rich, sometime Treasurer of Salisbury Cathedral, 
who had ordered the " public excesses " of Bishops and 
other clergy to be denounced to him at his Provincial 
Visitation in 1236. A more novel visitation was that of 
the Cathedral in 1888. Here the Bishop was imitating 
not only his father, who in 1873 visited the Cathedral 
body of Lincoln, but also Bishop Moberly, who had done 
the same at Sahsbury, in 1870. He was asserting a 
right which his medieval predecessors had maintained 
against fierce opposition, and had sometimes used to 
effect necessary reforms. There was no opposition in 
1888, and in so decorous a corporation no reforms could 
be needed. The Bishop expressed the hope that the 
visitation would be the first step towards a revision of 
the Cathedral statutes. The hope remains unfulfilled. 

The Bishop had clearly shown at his entry into the 
diocese that he meant to make full use of his powers in 
regard to the admission of the clergy to benefices. Thirty 
years ago patrons, even of the highest principle, were apt 
to regard the exercise of their rights as a private matter 


into which Bishops should not pry. There was a little 
resentment at first over the publicity on which the Bishop 
insisted. He was in advance of opinion. But the general 
recognition of the value of full inquiry into the legal 
transaction and into the character of the presentee is 
largely due to Bishop Wordsworth's enterprise. He anti- 
cipated the law by several years, and his success convinced 
Convocation and Parliament that greater strictness was 
needed. Among other recent provisions of the law, the 
advertisement of a presentation on the church door is 
borrowed from his practice. When he was not satisfied 
with the presentee he used the weapon of examination. 
He appears to have been the first to employ it systemati- 
cally ; the famous examination of Mr. Gorham had been 
an exceptional measure in a doctrinal struggle. To take 
one instance ; a clergyman had long been living a blame- 
less and unclerical life as a gentleman farmer. His 
son grew up and graduated, and the father, through his 
wife, bought an advowson, where the incumbent was 
very aged.^ Soon, but certainly without any illegal 
bargain, the incumbent resigned. The lady then pre- 
sented her husband, who intended — he made no conceal- 
ment — to occupy the benefice only till his son was qualified 
to take it. The Bishop wrote searching letters, appealing 
to the couple to examine their motives and put the welfare 
of the parish in the first place. They were of no avail ; 
the lady persisted in her presentation. The Bishop fell 
back on his canonical right — " No Bishop shall institute 
any to a Benefice . . . except he . . . shall appear, 
on due examination, to be worthy of his ministry." The 
gentleman was told that it was so long since he had 
exercised his ministry that he must come to Salisbury 
and show that he was still competent. He demurred, but 

1 It may be of interest to note that in the eighties an advowson 
was worth between four and five years' purchase. 


was legally advised to submit, came, was examined by 
the Bishop's chaplains, and rejected. The Bishop was 
soon able to make a satisfactory arrangement as to the 
patronage, the first presentation naturally falling to him- 
self after a vacancy of many months. In another case, 
a young fellow of a College, who had taken the first living 
that came to his turn, was startled at hearing that he must 
answer questions in Curteis' Bampton Lectures and 
Blunt's Church Law. A little later, in 1888, in reporting 
to a Committee of the Canterbury Upper House, the Bishop 
has slightly changed his plan. He writes : — 

" Personal examination of presentees in learning and 
doctrine : I have made it a rule to examine, under the 39th 
canon, whenever a presentee was only a short time in Priest's 
Orders, or when the patronage of the benefice had recently 
changed hands and the clerk was presented by some relation 
or family connection ; whenever, in fact, I was aware that 
money had passed in his interest. I have had four cases of 
the former kind and two of the latter. In regard to the method 
of this examination and in reference to the words of the canon, 
' and lastly shall appear upon due examination to be worthy 
of his ministry,' I took my Chancellor's [Sir J. P. Deane] 
opinion. He was of opinion that the presentee was supposed 
to be aware of the provision of the canon, and therefore could 
not profess surprise at an examination, but that it was not 
wise for the Bishop to require him to prepare certain books, 
and that, if rejected, a presentee should be rejected within the 
28 days allowed by the canon. I have therefore in nearly 
all these cases contented myself with setting two papers, 
one on Pastoral care and the other on the Prayer-book, 
including a few elementary questions as to Church law, such 
as an incumbent would be certain to have to answer. Should 
there be anything like a grave case, I should of course examine 
more explicitly in doctrine. These papers have been set 
and looked over by my ordinary examining chaplains, and 
I have acted on their recommendation in admitting presen- 
tees. I have found these examinations useful in eliciting the 


opinions of men who would otherwise have passed almost 
as strangers through my hands ; and I have reason to think 
that the knowledge that examination is a reality makes 
both patrons and presentees more careful." 

The Bishop also incurred the risk of litigation in regard 
to more prosaic questions of patronage. Perhaps the 
most interesting case was that of an ancient corporation 
which, a generation ago, contracted to sell a certain 
advowson while the benefice was full. The contract 
contained a stipulation that if it became vacant before 
the purchase was complete the society should present the 
nominee of the purchaser. It became vacant at once, 
by the institution of the occupant to another benefice in 
the gift of the vendors, and a gentleman was presented 
by the society, which did not state in what right it pre- 
sented. This admission that something was wrong 
opened a grave question. 

"They have tried, so to speak," said the Bishop, "to build 
a bridge over the vacancy by beginning the sale before the 
vacancy and holding it in suspense till after the vacancy 
had occurred." 

And he divined the motive. It was — 

" clearly an evasion, if not a direct contravention of the statute, 
since the society knew that the living was to be immediately 
vacant, and in all probability covenanted to receive a higher 
price in consequence." 

He felt the danger — 

" if a custom grows up of persons or corporations presenting 
the nominees of others and concealing the facts, it will be almost 
impossible for a Bishop to be certain with whom he is dealing." 

If the law be defied in such a case, the punishment is 
that the presentation for the turn falls to the Crown. 
The Bishop appealed to the law officers of the Crown to 


claim its right, but they declined, not being sure of success. 
The Bishop persisted. He refused to institute, asserting 
that — 

" it has been abundantly proved to me that the course taken 
by the society is one unworthy of so honourable a body, and 
is nothing less than an evasion of the well-known rule of law 
that an advowson cannot be sold during vacancy so as to 
carry with it the sale of the next presentation." 

The vendors began a suit in the High Court, but the 
Bishop was not dismayed. The action was then with- 
drawn, and as more than six months had been spent in 
the debate the presentation fell to the Bishop, who 
appointed, after careful inquiry, a member of the society. 
It is still the patron, and doubtless profited morally by 
the powerful homilies which the Bishop addressed to it 
through its Head. 

On an important matter of conscience concerning 
patronage the Bishop wrote a letter which unfortunately 
has not been preserved. The facts, however, are 
accurately remembered. A body of trustees had offered, 
and a clergyman had accepted, the presentation to a 
benefice on condition that the services should be conducted 
after a prescribed fashion. This came to the Bishop's 
knowledge, and he told the clergyman in question that 
he had been wrong in making the promise and the patrons 
wrong in exacting it. They had had no right beyond 
that of presenting a nominee in priest's orders to the 
Bishop ; he was bound only by the general law of the 
Church and by his oath of canonical obedience, and had 
no right to bind himself further. He was, therefore, 
free in conscience from the promise he had given, and in 
the execution of his duties must consider only the welfare 
of the parish and not the desires of the patrons. 

In one important respect the Bishop had twice to 


maintain his rights against the Crown. The question in 
dispute was as to the character of the deanery of Sahs- 
bury. To understand it the history of Salisbury Cathedral 
must be explained. It is a Cathedral of the " Old Founda- 
tion," descending unaltered in its constitution from the 
Middle Ages, while Cathedrals of the " New Foundation " 
were established by King Henry VIII. , and provided with 
such statutes as he chose to give them. In them the Dean 
is directly appointed by the Sovereign, who sends his 
mandate to the Chapter, bidding them instal his nominee. 
The Bishop has no voice in the matter. But in Cathedrals 
of the Old Foundation the Dean was originally the Head 
elected by the Canons to preside over them, just as the 
Fellows at a College in Oxford or Cambridge elect their Head. 
The Chapter, after making their choice, presented their 
future Dean to be instituted by the Bishop as to the benefice 
of the deanery. In course of time the Crown deprived 
the Chapter of their right of choice. But this did not 
affect the Bishop's rights. The Dean was still presented, 
though by the Crown as patron, and was instituted by the 
Bishop. This process continued till the middle of the 
nineteenth century. When Dean Hamilton was nomi- 
nated by the Crown in 1850, he was duly instituted by 
Bishop Denison, and the fact and date were endorsed 
on his letters testimonial. A change was made when 
Dean Boyle came in 1880. The grant to him was made 
in the ancient form, with mention (among other things) 
of fisheries attached to the office — the Dean can catch 
trout at the bottom of his garden, and the mention 
has proved of value for the maintenance of his right — 
but nothing was said in it about institution. For all 
that, Bishop Moberly instituted him. In Bishop Words- 
worth's time a further innovation was made. In the case 
of Dr. Webb, late Bishop of Grahamstown, a bald and 
curt document was sent, merely bidding the Chapter to 


instal. In fact, a Cathedral of the Old Foundation was 
being treated as if it belonged to the New. The Bishop 
naturally protested ; he wrote to the Crown Office 
pointing out the error. The Crown Office refused to 
modify its formula, whereupon the Bishop conferred, 
and the Dean received, institution in spite of the defect 
in the letters patent. So again in the case of Dean Page- 
Roberts the Bishop made a protest which was ignored, 
and again he treated the nomination as a presentation 
and instituted the new Dean, describing the Crown by 
the ambiguous title of " Grantor." Perhaps in this 
strange conduct of the Crown Office there has lurked an 
Erastianism surviving from the time of Lord Westbury ; 
but I have high legal authority for saying that more pro- 
bably the mischief began in the careless choice of the 
wrong precedent, and has continued through official 
unwillingness to confess that a mistake had been 

In the Benefices Act of 1898 the points which most 
interested the Bishop, who had taken a large share in 
the preparation of the Bill,^ were the conversion of 
donatives into presentative benefices, and the reform of 
University elections to livings. The Universities were 
empowered to appoint committees for the choice of pre- 
sentees instead of electing by vote, and the inconvenience 
of limiting the choice to men unbeneficed, however small 
the living might be and however desirable that it should 
be held in plurality, was abolished. University patronage 
often arises from the incapacity of Roman Catholics to 
present ; the Bishop was ready, like Archbishop Temple, 
to remove this restriction, provided that the Bishop of 
the diocese were free to refuse the presentee without 
assigning his reason. This, however, is a reform that has 
not yet been enacted. The Bishop was the first to make 
1 See the Life of Archbishop Temple, ii. 332. 


use, again with risk of litigation, of that provision of the 
Pluralities Acts Amendment Act, 1885, which enables 
a Bishop, after receiving complaint that a parish is 
neglected, to appoint a Commission, one member of which 
is nominated by the accused incumbent, to inquire into 
the way in which his duties are being discharged. A case 
soon arose. After repeated warnings the Bishop enforced 
the Act. The incumbent met him with an able and dogged 
resistance, but the facts were clear. It was shown that 
parochial duties both in church and among the people 
were persistently neglected. The Bishop appointed a 
resident curate, whose stipend under the Act was to be 
paid by the incumbent ; it had to be exacted by proceed- 
ings in the County Court. The novelty of the occasion and 
the subtlety with which the opposition was maintained 
imparted to the case a difficulty and an importance which 
led the Bishop and his advisers to pay it a greater attention 
than its intrinsic seriousness might seem to deserve. 
But they were able to set a precedent of lasting value, 
and the labour was not wasted. As regards lay help in 
parishes, the Bishop took an active part in the efforts of 
Convocation to add regularity and dignity to the office 
of Lay Reader. He presided over the Joint Committee 
of Convocation which reported in 1905, addressed an 
open letter on the subject to the Archbishop in the same 
year, and did his part in drawing up the rules that were 
laid down on the subject. 

But more important were the results attained in a 
stubbornly contested case, in which he won the victory 
and bore the cost, concerning a Bishop's powers during 
his visitation. The law was ascertained on several points 
which hitherto had been undecided. The circumstances 
were as follows. At Easter, 1900, there was a contested 
election for the office of churchwarden at Winterbome 
Came, a village near Dorchester. The Rector nominated 



one warden, and then a poll was taken for the other. The 
Rector was in the chair. He voted as a parishioner, 
and when it appeared that the numbers for the two candi- 
dates were equal he turned the scale by giving his vote as 
presiding officer for one of them. The Bishop's triennial 
visitation was being held in 1900, and the authority of 
the Archdeacon had been suspended by the usual episcopal 
inhibition. Both candidates came before him at Dor- 
chester, each claiming to have been lawfully elected. 
One said that he had a majority of the votes ; the other 
that the Rector's vote was invalid, since he had exhausted 
his rights when he nominated one warden and had 
exceeded his powers when he voted also as a parishioner. 
Both presented their cases in legal form, and the Bishop 
reserved his judgment. On the 21st June he gave it. 

"It is urged," he said, " that I have no discretion in the 
matter, but ought at once to admit Mr. Vine.^ I might also, 
of course, entirely escape responsibility by admitting both 
parties and leaving them to take action in the civil courts. 
But neither of these courses appears to me consistent, I will 
not say with the dignity, but with the proper purpose and 
function of a Bishop's visitation court. I am here to prevent 
litigation, not to promote it, and to settle questions at once 
if possible. Nor do I think it is in the interests of the 
parish that two persons should be in the uncomfortable 
position of jostling against one another in the performance 
of duties which ought to be for the good and well-being of 
all. I believe also that it is recognised by the civil courts 
that the Ordinary may be expected to satisfy himself which 
of two claimants is really elected, and to admit the proper 
person, leaving it of course to the other, if he thinks fit, to 
prosecute his claim in the civil court." 

The Bishop found that the question of the legality of 
the Rector's vote was one that had never been decided 

^ The candidate with the majority of votes. 


either in the civil or ecclesiastical courts. He therefore 
sketched the history of the office of churchwarden and of 
the duties attached to it, from the Constitutions of Arch- 
bishop Gray, of York, in 1250 down to the Canons of 1604, 
taking account also of certain legal decisions affirming 
the right of the Rector to preside at the election. His 
conclusion was that the Rector ought to preside but ought 
not to vote as a parishioner. " Parishioner " is clearly 
a relative term and exclusive of the minister. It does not 
mean persons residing in a particular area, but persons 
under the ecclesiastical charge of a particular " parochus " 
or " minister." This he showed from Peckham's Con- 
stitution 27. The best method of election, according 
to the Canons of 1604, is a joint one. In a separate 
election the minister chooses one warden, the parishioners 
the other. The Rector was therefore going beyond his 
rights when he elected for himself and then shared in 
the election made by the parishioners. Hence the Bishop 
disallowed his vote, and so reduced the candidate he had 
favoured to a minority. The Rector's second vote, 
given as presiding officer, fell to the ground, there being 
no longer an equality, and the Bishop refrained from 
pronouncing an opinion as to its validity, had the votes 
been equal. He directed the surrogate to admit the 
second candidate to the office. 

The Rector being dissatisfied, he and the warden whom 
he had supported required the Archdeacon (Mr. F. B. 
Sowter) to do what the Bishop had refused. Had the 
Archdeacon consented, he would have ignored the inhibi- 
tion. He therefore declined, and the discontented party 
applied to the Queen's Bench for a mandamus to compel 
him to execute his office. That court was so ill-advised 
as to issue the order, an error which was duly corrected 
on appeal. On the 22nd January, 1901, the Master of 
the Rolls (Sir A. L. Smith), Lord Justice Collins, and Lord 


Justice Romer upheld the Archdeacon's contention that 
his jurisdiction to admit churchwardens — 

" was an inferior jurisdiction, and that the Bishop had, during 
his visitation, according to custom, inhibited the Archdeacon 
from exercising his spiritual and ecclesiastical jurisdiction 
concerning, inter alia, the admission of churchwardens." 

The Court was unanimous. 

Having failed with the Archdeacon, the Rector and 
his warden once more turned to the Bishop, and applied 
for a mandamus to require him, as having superseded the 
Archdeacon at the date in question, to admit. This 
raised all the questions to which the Bishop had given 
answer in his original judgment of the 21st June, 1900, 
and on the 8th February, 1901, the Divisional Court, 
Justices Wills and Channell, decided them in the Bishop's 
sense, though not entirely on the same grounds as the 
Bishop. The matter was thus settled, for no further 
appeal was made, and points of lasting interest and 
importance were decided. The cost was considerable. 
The Bishop had shown his courage by persisting against 
the advice of his Chancellor, Sir J. P. Deane, whom 
Mr. Holgate, his legal secretary, found, just before the 
final trial — 

" very infirm but wonderfully clear in mind ... he wished 
you luck and thought it plucky of you to raise the point . . . 
but thought the law was decidedly against you." ^ 

The Bishop was vigorous in maintaining what he 
believed were his rights as a Diocesan. When, at the 
beginning of 1888, the Bishop of London gained the services 
of a suffragan in Archdeacon Earle, the new Bishop was 
compelled by an Act of Henry VHI. to take as his title 

^ From a letter of C. W. Holgate to the Bishop, 7th February, 1901. 
Sir J. P. Deane was then 89 years of age, and died on the 3rd January, 
902. The present Sir L. T. Dibdin was the Bishop's counsel. 


the name of one among certain towns, none of which was 
within the diocese of London. The title chosen was that 
of Marlborough. This seemed to the Bishop an encroach- 
ment on his see, and he was the more affronted because, 
as he wrote both to Archbishop Benson and Bishop Temple, 
neither he nor his Chapter had been consulted and he had 
been left to learn the fact from the public press. He 
urged that it would have been easy, as courtesy required, 
to obtain a private Act empowering a title to be given 
from some place within the diocese of London ; Benson 
himself had recently obtained such an Act for the con- 
stitution of the Chapter of Truro. He told the Archbishop 
that he had a right to expect an expression of regret 
from Temple. Perhaps it is not surprising that he did 
not obtain it ; but two years later a public Act was 
passed, which rendered lawful such titles as those of the 
Bishops of Stepney and Kensington, with which we are 

A few years later he protested, and this time success- 
fully, against a claim made by no less a person than 
Archbishop Temple himself to invade the domains of the 
Bishops of his Province. He wrote 1 : — 

" I was very glad to read in the Times of Saturday, 20th, 
your reply to the Duke of Newcastle and others in defence of 
your decision, given on 31st July last, on Incense and Pro- 
cessional Lights, 

" With the substance of your decision and your defence of 
it I should like to express strong agreement, and I should 
never have thought of objecting to the final words of the 
decision, expressing a hope that the clergy would accept it. 
But as you have put your defence of those final words in a 
broader form, for which you have challenged criticism, I 
venture to ask whether there is any known precedent for an 
Archbishop of Canterbury addressing a letter officially and 

^ 22nd January, 1900. 


immediately to all the clergy of his Province in order to tell 
them their duty ? To send a pastoral (letter) is a formal 
act, implying, it seems to me, immediate jurisdiction, and such, 
I have always held, the Archbishop of Canterbury neither has 
nor claims in the dioceses committed to his suffragans. I 
am afraid that such a claim does challenge comparison with 
the third chapter of the constitution Pastor aeternus of the 
Vatican Council. Of course you explain what you mean 
below, but the phrase remains and will, I fear, give trouble. 
You will, I am sure, understand my motive in writing this." 

The great constitutional event of the Bishop's life 
was his share in the Lincoln trial. He took part as an 
assessor in two of its stages, and on two important points 
he was of a different mind from the Archbishop. The 
story has been so fully and clearly told by Mr. A. C. Benson 
in his Life of his father that only these differences of 
opinion need be dwelt on here. That they should have 
arisen was doubtless a grief to both, so strong was the affec- 
tion between them. It was manifest during the actual pro- 
gress of the trial. The Bishop was urging the Archbishop 
to come to Salisbury to take part in the laying of the 
foundation stones of the first church to be built in that 
city since the Middle Ages. The Archbishop resisted ; 
he had too many employments ; the burden of all the 
Churches lay upon him ; were it in the Canterbury diocese 
he would not spare the time for such an engagement. 
The Bishop was inexorable. Among his pleas one was 
touching ^ : — 

" Personally, I very much long to show you our home, as 
I now quite feel it to be. My father had, of coiurse, never been 
here (not since Bishop Hamilton's time) as he had to Rochester, 
and the absence of such interest as he would have taken in 
our affairs can only be supplied by an old and elder friend 
like yourself. We have no children to transfer our impressions 

' 24th September, 1890. 


to. I think you will understand why we want you, above 
others, to come here." 

A few days later he again writes to the Archbishop ^ : — 

" I hope I quite realise the importance of the outside work, 
and the strain which it puts on the see of Canterbury, though 
of course no one can feel the burden in the degree you yourself 
do. I would only plead for the old centres of the home Pro- 
vince as having a claim upon the arrangement of journeys, 
etc., when you are able to move about, and specially now that 
the Lincoln case exhibits a relation of the Archbishop to his 
suffragans which had almost faded from the memory of the Church, 
at any rate as a practical thing." 

The Archbishop has surrounded the words in italics 
with a broad line of red pencil, and doubtless they 
influenced him to give a conditional promise of a visit 
to Salisbury. But it was not till the 27th April, 1892, 
that the Archbishop came, and performed the ceremony 
in pouring rain, after addressing the Synod, which was 
then in session. 

The proceedings in Read v. The Bishop of Lincoln 
began with a petition from the Church Association to 
the Archbishop that he would hear the case in his Court. 
This was on the 2nd June, 1888 ; on the 26th the Arch- 
bishop stated that he was not sure whether he had 
jurisdiction. That point was referred to the Judicial 
Committee of the Privy Council. Five judges sat with 
five episcopal assessors, of whom the Bishop of Salisbury 
was one, and on the 3rd August it was unanimously 
decided that the Archbishop had jurisdiction, and the 
case was remitted to him to be heard and decided. 

The trial was to be " in the Court of the Archbishop 
of Canterbury." But what, for the trial of a Bishop 
was this Court ? There were grave differences of opinion. 

1 7th October, 1890. 


The Archbishop was sure that he alone was judge in such 
a case, and determined so to act. Bishop King was of 
another mind, and made a public protest in a letter 
to his diocese. Bishop Wordsworth, who had much 
sympathy with him, wrote to reconcile him to the Arch- 
bishop's action. 1 He was discussing the address to the 
diocese of Lincoln : — 

" If I may say so, its spirit is admirable and worthy of 
the occasion. I like the beginning very much, and you have, 
of course, quite a right to quote my father's words about the 
Ornaments Rubric, representing, I think, his mature judgment 
on the subject. I have myself ventured to say a few words 
in something of the same spirit as your own about the ' out- 
of-dateness ' of a rigid uniformity, in addressing our Synod 
of Clergy on All Saints' Eve. There are, however, one or 
two points in your printed letter on which I should like to 
offer suggestions. Is not silence as to your loyalty best in 
the face of such weak assailants ? You know, of course, if 
it has ever been seriously doubted or impugned. . . . Could 
you not recognise rather more fully that the Archbishop has 
a heavy burden of responsibility in the matter, and has to 
think of issues and probabilities which may not be so evident 
to his suffragans ? In fact, that in deciding to use his dis- 
cretion to hear the case he has possibly decided rightly ? . . . 

" In writing as I did, I tried to represent what I supposed 
to be the Archbishop's point of view, and to keep my own 
opinions in the background. I think that, now he has decided 
to hear the case, the loyal course for me is to support him by 
stating what I believe to be his reasons for so doing. But you 
know, I think, without any expression in words, how strongly 
I sympathise with your trouble, and I believe enter into the 
feelings that compose it. I am very glad to hear that you 
have instructed three good lawyers to uphold the legality 
of the somewhat trivial points on which you are attacked. I 
think that is better than pleading yourself, which might 
(if you are unsuccessful) involve you in a direct conflict with 

* 27th November, 1888. 


the Archbishop. Even on St. Hugh's Day one would shrink 
from such a contingency." 

If Bishop Wordsworth wished Bishop King to submit 
with a good will to the inevitable trial, it was not because 
he was himself satisfied that the tribunal was the right 
one. He did not say bluntly with Bishop Stubbs, " It 
is not a Court : it is an Archbishop sitting in his library," 
but in fact he was of the same opinion. There were, in 
his judgment, cases in which the Archbishop had the sole 
power of judging his comprovincial Bishops, but this was 
not one of them. He states his view briefly to his 
brother ^ : — 

" My view at present is that (i) the Archbishop has some 
direct jurisdiction over Bishops, e.g. in the cases given in 
Canon 33, etc. ; (2) he has jurisdiction, as in the Watson case, 
for criminal offences, such as simony, immorality, etc., sitting 
with assessors ; (3) but by the Privy Council judgment in 
the Colenso case he has not jurisdiction in cases of heresy, 
which ought to be tried before a Synod ; {4) that this ritual 
question is on such debateable ground between the two that 
no assertion or denial of his jurisdiction by himself ought to 
stand without appeal or reference to the Queen's Bench ; 
(5) the cases of trials of Bishops by Convocation are weak." 

A few days later he argued the question at length in 
a letter to Bishop Stubbs 2 ;_ 

" I. It seems to me that the most solid ground, from an 
English point of view, is to be found in the Canons 33, 35, and 
36 of 1603. In reading these I take it that 36 is to be inter- 
preted and governed by 33 and 35. These Canons seem to 
prove two things : — 

" (i) That the Archbishop has a Court independent of 
those in which he has delegated his judicial authority to the 
Dean of Arches and the Vicar-General or other subordinates ; 

1 4th April, 1889. ^ 20th April, 1889. 


" (2) That the argument from Archbishop Sheldon's silence 
is not so weighty as at first seemed probable. 

" On the other hand, I am not aware of any recorded cases 
of suspension by the Archbishop in the manner contemplated 
by these Canons. 

" II. It seems to me that the precedent of Bishop Watson's 
case/ agreeing as it does with the dictates of common sense, 
would justify an Archbishop or Metropolitan in trying moral 
offences, such as those of which the Bishops of St. Davids 
and Clogher ^ were accused, in person with assessors, and not 
in Synod. 

" III. The Privy Council judgment in the case of Bishop 
Colenso seems to me to have decided, and to have decided 
rightly, that an Archbishop or Metropolitan has not such a 
jurisdiction over his suffragans in cases of heresy. ... I 
do not think that such a case can be tried except by a Synod 
of Bishops of the Province. If the Archbishop's judgment 
in this case should establish this great principle, the battle 
will not have been fought in vain. 

" IV. As to ritual offences committed by a Bishop. These 
naturally divide themselves into those that touch doctrine, 
such as the omission or addition of words in the sacramental 
offices or hturgy, and the use of additional ceremonies which 
can be shown not to be heretical. If a Bishop is accused of 
heretical pravity in regard to ritual, the case should be judged 
as a case of heresy ; but if he is accused of mere variation of 
ceremonies to which no such heretical colour is attributed, 
I see no precedent for trjdng him either in the Court of the 
Archbishop or before the Bishops of the Province. For (as 
you know better than I do) (i) such variation of ceremonies 
was no offence before the Reformation in a Bishop ; (2) it 
has never been made so since by Statute Law, which has done 

^ Thomas Watson, Bishop of St. Davids, deposed for simony in 
1699. There is no doubt that his conduct had been unsatisfactory, 
but he was a Jacobite and had not a fair trial. He was judged and 
sentenced by Archbishop Tenison with six coadjutors, or assessors. 
Bishop Wordsworth's argument deals merely with the constitution of 
the Court. 

- Deprived in 1822 for a misdemeanour by his Metropolitan, the 
Archbishop of Armagh. 


so in regard to Priests ; but in the Public Worship Regulation 
Act it has specially kept Bishops out of its provisions, as 
previous Acts of ParUament did ; (3) the Preface to the Prayer- 
book ' concerning the Service of the Church ' recognises, to 
some extent at least, the jus liturgicum in the Bishops. 

" V. I should be glad if the Archbishop could see his way 
to a judgment embodying I. -III. and pointing out that he 
is not convinced that he has jurisdiction in ritual cases. 
The argument might then be resumed on this point — taking 
as its basis the assumption that he has jurisdiction in moral 
cases, but not in cases of heresy except with his compro- 
vincial Bishops. I should be still more glad if he would decline 
jurisdiction in ritual cases ; but I very much doubt if he would 
consent to do so, having gone so far, without at least 
hearing the argument on both sides. He might, however, ask 
whether anything of heresy is attributed to the Bishop of 
Lincoln in this matter." 

He ended the letter with the suggestion that the 
Bishop of Winchester (who, he assumed, was in agree- 
ment with them) should join the Bishops of Oxford and 
Salisbury in a representation to the above effect to the 
Archbishop. It does not seem that this was done. In a 
few days, on the nth May, the Archbishop, after hearing 
arguments, decided this constitutional point. The Court 
was to be himself, but he would have assessors to help 
him. But the Bishop of Salisbury still held that a Bishop 
charged with heresy should be tried by a Synod, and that 
a Bishop has a jus liturgicum of his own which exempts 
him from such conformity as is required of the other 
orders of the ministry. In this spirit he wrote to the 
Archbishop after the preliminary decision ^ : — 

" I was very sorry to have to differ from yourself and from 

others in this matter, but I cannot honestly give any other 

advice, nor do I see any reason to change my mind. I confess 

tnat I do not see how the two parts of the judgment of the 

1 26th July, 1889. 


Cotirt hang together. It may be that ' minister ' in the Holy 
Communion rubric includes a Bishop, but that does not 
prove that ' minister ' in the Act of Uniformity does so, nor 
that the law has made any provision for tr5dng a Bishop for 
a ritual offence. The Prayer-book is attached to the Act of 
Uniformity, but it derives its coercive force from the Act, 
not the Act from it. Holding this belief I am very much 
distressed that the judgment of the Court should be open, 
as it seems to me, to very damaging criticism. The fact that 
one of the assessors really agreed with me ^ certainly goes far 
to confirm me in my opinion, which otherwise I should have 
naturally distrusted." 

This difference did not hinder the Bishop from throw- 
ing himself with zeal into the labours of the trial. He, 
like Stubbs, was one of the assessors in the great hearing 
which began on the 23rd July. Mr. Benson quotes a 
letter from Bishop Stubbs, written in 1896,2 in which he 
says that — 

" all the historical work done in the Lincoln Trial, saving of 
course what was done by the Counsel of the parties, was the 
work of the Archbishop himself, who collected the materials 
and drew up the judgment." 

This is doubtless strictly true in regard to the judgment, 
but it needs to be modified, as concerns Bishop Stubbs, 
by what Archdeacon Hutton has recorded of his share in 
the case. 3 There we learn how much that Bishop did 
while the hearing was in progress. To it Bishop Words- 
worth was equally attentive ; but his notes on the case, 
accumulated during the sixteen months between the 
beginning of the hearing and the delivery of the judgment, 
are now deposited in the Library of Lambeth Palace, and 
show what further labour he devoted to a task which came 

^ This must have been Bishop Stubbs. See his Letters, edited 
by Archdeacon Hutton, pp. 315 f. 

* Life of Archbishop Benson, ii. 378, 

* Letters, p. 324. 


to be, for the time, his chief employment. For through- 
out the long interval during which the Archbishop was 
maturing his judgment he was exacting from Bishop 
Wordsworth a toil as severe as his own. He plied him 
with questions, and demanded from him precis of facts 
and opinions on specified points, and yet (very properly) 
gave him no share in shaping the actual result. During 
that strenuous year, 1890, Archdeacon Bodington was 
residing in the Palace at Salisbury and has contributed 
his memories of the time : — 

" When the Bishop asked me to live at the Palace as 
chaplain it must have been out of kindness, for I was so much 
out of health as to be of little use to him, but the six months 
I spent there were an immense revelation to me of power in 
life. Those were the days of the Lincoln trial. Archbishop 
Benson got all he could out of Bishop Wordsworth. The 
Archbishop's own sleep, he wrote, had been permanently 
reduced to some four hours a night. He seemed to be prepared 
to reduce the Bishop's to the same quantity ; rather, I thought, 
in the style of the Wellington master towards his assistant. 
Bishop Wordsworth, not always the most patient of men, 
bore it like a lamb. He was remarkably devoted to Benson, 
and was invariably pained by hearing him adversely criticised. 
This was due, no doubt, partly to his idealistic conception 
of the loyalty owed by a Suffragan Bishop to his Archbishop. 
Like Sir Walter Scott, he had something of the feudal mind. 
But this patient loyalty was also undoubtedly due to a very 
great confidence in, and reverence for, the Archbishop's 
abilities, character, and ideas about the Church. Bishop 
Wordsworth, like his father, had a horror of papalism ; and 
yet, curiously, he had great sympathy with those ideas of 
Benson's about the relation of the see of Canterbury to the 
rest of AngUcan Christendom which to many people, especially 
to those beyond the seas, to Bishop Webb of Grahamstown, 
for instance, seemed to go beyond a hegemony of Canterbury 
and to have a papalising tendency. At all events, he worked 
like a slave for the Archbishop at this time, more, I think, from 


loyalty than from any vivid hope of solving permanently the 
difficulties of the English Church, But he had deep sympathy 
with his old friend, Bishop King, and I think there was 
a hope in his mind that the facts of history might be found 
to come to his help. Yet I scarcely think that he anticipated 
such a general acceptance of the Archbishop's judgment as 
would bring peace. His view, then and alw,ays, was that the 
points in dispute were of little importance. But law is great, 
and the keeping of the law in the smallest points is worth a 
great deal of sacrifice. If only we could ascertain what the 
law is, we ought all to be content to give up our own 
predilections for the sake of the great principle of obedience 
to the Church. Accordingly he went to work, and his methods 
were characteristic. I do not know how much of the subject 
was referred to him for research, but I remember that the 
questions of the legality of the sign of the Cross in absolution 
and blessing, and of the two lights at the time of celebration, 
were included. We never knew at what hour he would start 
on his researches. Once, I remember, after a particularly 
hard day, he started at lo p.m. with Clifford Holgate, 
myself, and a third, each with his appointed task. We were 
told what to look for, and where we might expect to find it. 
What a search through St. Augustine I had for some subsidiary 
point ! From his chair he would suggest particular chapters, 
or even particular pages, of particular books. He seemed to 
know them aU by heart, and his power of accurate quotation 
from a general memory of them was astonishing. Charac- 
teristically, his trust in us seemed complete, but I fancy it 
was always with one eye open. If you made a shp, he seemed 
to know it beforehand. On this night he was as mighty as I 
have ever known him. One by one we were sent to bed because 
we looked exhalttsted. I was the middle one to go, and most 
reluctant I was, but he was inexorable. Holgate, his always 
faithful henchman, remained with him till the end, which 
came at 2.30 a.m., when the Bishop retired to bed. But he 
caught the 6.30 train to London next morning." 

To this I can add my own testimony, as a modest 
partaker in these tasks. The Bishop was interested. 


before the trial began, in Canon Law. Already in i 
he had suggested to Dr. Bright of Christ Church that 
efforts should be made to found a professorship of the 
subject at Oxford, and had received the discouraging 
reply that the attempt was useless, for no one in England 
knew enough about it. When occasion to study it came 
in the course of duty, the Bishop threw himself heartily 
into the pursuit. He collected almost a library of the 
relevant books, and they were such as gratified his scholarly 
instincts. Gratior et pulcro veniens in corpore virtus ; he 
liked Lyndwood and Van Espen and Barbosa the better 
for their folio shape. He not only bought but read, 
and set others to seek for answers to questions which he 
framed, or gave them roving commissions to collect 
passages which might seem to the point. His share in 
supplying material for the judgment was assuredly not 

When the judgment was given, on the 21st November, 
1900, it had the full approval of Bishop Wordsworth. 
Preaching after the death of the Archbishop in Salisbury 
Cathedral, 1 he said : — 

" It is a mistake to say that this judgment was not unani- 
mous. The only point on which one of his assessors differed 
from him was the application of the Act of Uniformity to a 
Bishop. That preliminary point being settled at a separate 
sitting (23rd, 24th July, 1889) the judgment on the details 
of ritual, given 21st November, 1890, was agreed to by all 
the assessors." 

And in a private note, dated the 4th December, 1890, 
he gave his own opinion of the judgment. He spoke of 
it as — 

" fit to stand by the strong work of his two school-feUows, 
successively Bishops of Durham. Character of their work : 

1 1 8th October, 1896, Diocesan Gazette, p. 239. 


constructive and uncontroversial, seeking for the great abiding 
elements in the past yet not shrinking from minute details 
and patient study— not always without a certain idiosyncrasy 
and quaintness, inherited from Prince Lee." 

With the Archbishop's judgment the Bishop's share 
in the case came to an end. He was not an assessor in 
the hearing before the Privy Council in 1891, and therefore 
had nothing to do with the dismissal in 1892 of the 
appeal against the Archbishop's decision. 

At this point it may be well to mention the Bishop's 
view of the character of the episcopal office, in regard to 
certain irregular claimants who have perhaps excited more 
curiosity, and certainly have given more trouble to those 
in authority, than their intrinsic importance can justify. 
Specific reference to such cases, even were the material 
accessible, would lie outside the scope of this book. But 
no one had a larger share in these matters than the Bishop 
of Salisbury, and he had come in his later years to the 
definite conclusion that a Bishop is necessarily the Bishop 
of a certain see within a certain communion, and that 
were any one (if the term may be used) to be consecrated 
in vacuo on speculation he would not be a Bishop at all. 
There would be no need, as is sometimes supposed, to 
keep him in a kind of quarantine lest he should irregularly 
transmit what he had irregularly received ; for since the 
necessary conditions, viz. a definite Church to accept 
him as its officer and a definite sphere in which the office 
should be exercised, were absent, he could not be regarded 
as being in any true sense a Bishop at all. I can only 
testify to this from his conversation ; but much earlier 
he had held that jurisdiction and ordination are in- 
separable. Writing to the then Bishop of Stepney, ^ he 
says : — 

1 The Right Rev. G. F. Browne, afterwards Bishop of Bristol, 
dated 13th November, 1895. 


' Originally the presbyter was ordained as presbyter of a 
particular church, and still he has a title as a necessary 
precedent condition in the Church of England. But in the 
common idea he is ordained a priest, and licensed to a parti- 
cular cure afterwards. The two parts of his office, the order 
and the jurisdiction, have become separated. So it is with 
Bishops. They are first confirmed and then consecrated. I 
do not myself, however, see that it is possible to separate the 
two things as theologians. My idea is that a Bishop is conse- 
crated Bishop of the Church of N., and that his confirmation 
beforehand is only accidental, for the sake of convenience." 

On the value of a National Church to the nation and 
to its citizens the Bishop held the views that, with his 
training, were inevitable, and he frankly accepted the 
limitations involved in establishment. About one of 
these he wrote ^ : — 

" I suppose the Royal Supremacy represents in its good 
form the power of Christian laymen, and all the elements 
of jurisdiction and influence in the Church which they may 
properly be supposed to exercise — ^patronage, assignment of 
dioceses and provinces, and gift of temporal honour and 
authority. The idea that there is a virtue in elective repre- 
sentation which is Christian {e.g. election of a clergyman by 
the communicants), as against another exercise of lay power 
which is unchristian, seems to me a Free Kirk and Puritan 
exaggeration. Both may act well and both badly. 

" The fact is that royal power is one of the Old Testament 
ideas which belong to a patriarchal view of society, and that 
representative government belongs to the New Testament 
circle of ideas which suited small societies growing up from the 
bottom. But though the two are in this way historically 
contrasted I do not think that either is essentially wrong or 
essentially right." 

In regard to wider questions of policy, the Bishop 

1 To the Rev. E. J. (now Archdeacon) Bodington, 7th September, 



was chiefly interested in providing the Church at home 
with a more adequate representative system than it now 
possesses, and in giving greater coherence to the whole 
Anglican communion. The former matter was rendered 
pressing by the want, which he fully recognised, of a 
proper judicial system. The series of ritual prosecu- 
tions had had a scandalous result ; there was disobedience 
because the Courts were not respected. The Bishop 
proposed a remedy in a learned paper on " The Reform of 
the Ecclesiastical Courts, Diocesan and Provincial," ^ 
which he read to his Greater Chapter on the 7th November, 
1899. That body " without dissent passed resolutions 
generally encouraging the policy described in the paper." 
The scheme proposed need not be detailed here ; perhaps 
the most interesting point in it was the recommendation 
of Bishops as judges on the ground of their cautiousness. 
He illustrated it by the moderation of the Upper House 
of Canterbury, as contrasted with the fervour of the 
Lower, in the matter of " Essays and Reviews." But it 
was vain to propose reforms unless there were some con- 
stitutional organ powerful enough to insist that they 
should be carried into effect. Therefore he wished for 
a " National Council " of the Church, and laboured hard 
for some years at a project which has in a certain measure 
been carried out. 

He was led to make his plan public by a protest 
against what they regarded as disloyalty to the Church, 
made in 1899 by an important body of Dorset Evangelicals, 
headed by Mr. Mansel Pleydell. These gentlemen vaguely 
believed that in some way, if they would, the Bishops 
could suppress " Sacerdotalism and Ritualism." The 
Bishop pointed out that they had no such powers, nor 
yet the Courts. The latter were failing because they 
were not respected. The Church needed a new Assembly, 

^ Salisbury, Brown, 1900. 


co-ordinate with Parliament, for the latter, no longer 
consisting of Churchmen, would not find time for such 
matters as Ecclesiastical Courts or the law of patron- 
age. He sketched a constitution for the proposed 
Council : — 

" Such a governing body might be found in the Convoca- 
tions of the two Provinces sitting together — with such reform 
in their constitution as the changed conditions of life in this 
country may make desirable — and having by their side a House 
of Laymen much like those already existing. I will not enter 
into detail as to the safeguards necessary to the constitution 
of this body, so that any revolutionary changes in doctrine 
or ritual or polity may be avoided ; but I will observe that 
the concurrence of Parliament might be secured, in matters 
of moment touching its proper sphere, by laying Statutes or 
Canons which it was proposed to enact, on matters involving 
the temporahties of the Church, for a certain period on the 
tables of both Houses. The right of the Crown to sanction 
Canons on matters of ordinary character would, of course, 
remain, and would no doubt be exercised much more 
readily if lay opinion were ascertained to be favourable 
to them. 

" It appears to me that if the laity of the Church were 
thus secured their proper influence in its Councils at all stages, 
there would be an irresistible claim on our part for such a 
Court of Final Appeal as would be acceptable to Churchmen. 
I have expressed my own opinion that we cannot consider the 
present Court of Final Appeal as satisfactory. I am convinced 
that any attempt to enforce its judgments as creating, by 
interpretation, laws of the Church binding generally on the 
consciences of the clergy and people, is impracticable. Any 
endeavour to do so would be resisted by a very large body 
indeed, both of clergy and laity, and certainly not by extreme 
men alone. Yet it is right that decisions in a Final 
Court should be of the nature of precedents and not merely 
decisions ad hoc. It is necessary, in fact, to the peace of 
the Church to have a Final Court which can be brought 
under the Fifth Commandment." 


In 1 90 1 an important Joint Committee of the Canter- 
bury Convocation was appointed to consider the position 
of the laity — 

" with reference to legislation in matters ecclesiastical, elections 
of Church officers, and judicial functions in the early Church 
and under the constitution of the Church of England," 

The Bishop of Salisbury was chairman, and had a 
large share in guiding the Committee and shaping its 
report, which was published in 1902. The report, which 
is of great value as history, ended with the recommen- 
dation that " a National Council should be formed fully 
representing the clergy and laity of the Church of 
England," and suggested the constitution, powers, and 
limitations appropriate for such a Council. 

The Bishop anticipated the publication of the report 
in his address to the Synod of 1902 at Salisbury. Dwelling 
chiefly upon the embittered controversies of the tkne, 
he said : — 

" The methods of party agitation and of boycotting are 
unlikely to find favour with any instructed Churchmen. They 
are too unintelligent and unspiritual, and altogether too 
rough, for the Kingdom of God. They may produce schism, 
they will not produce unity or promote progress. Irresponsible 
and amateur societies have to be tolerated ; but they are 
offensive, often in a very high degree, to those who have a 
conception of what the ideal life of the Church ought to be." 

He went on to speak of remedies for the confusion. 
Litigation was discredited, the Bishops w^ere powerless, 
the Royal Prerogative was unworkable. He proceeded : — 

" Then there is the method of consulting the Bishops, and 
calling upon them to take united action. This has a certain 
force ; and I think I may claim for the body to which I have 
the honour to belong that we have done not a httle both 
to promote unity and loyalty, and to encourage progress in 


the Church, in the broadest sense. No one can look at the 
history of the four Lambeth Conferences, presided over by 
Archbishops Longley, Tait, Benson, and our present Metro- 
pohtan, without being struck by the unanimity and faithfulness 
and breadth of view of the Anglican Episcopate throughout 
the world. But neither a Lambeth Conference, nor a meeting 
of Bishops of the Church of England proper, can do more than 
advise. Neither has constitutional authority. And though 
our Bishops at home have made, and I think are making, every 
effort to show themselves worthy representatives of their flocks, 
they cannot claim to represent both clergy and laity as directly 
as the Bishops of the first four or five centuries could do, and 
as the Bishops of the Colonial and foreign churches of our 
communion actually do. This primitive representative cha- 
racter of the episcopate, and also of the presbyterate and other 
orders, is one of the points which have impressed themselves 
much on my mind in the study to which I have referred. You 
will find examples of it in the lives of SS. Cyprian, Athanasius, 
Ambrose, Chrysostom, Augustine, Paulinus of Nola, and 
Martin of Tours, to name only a few of the most conspicuous. 
You cannot wonder that such men had a popular influence 
not possessed by others, who were only the nominees of a 
portion of the clergy or of the Court. I do not forget that 
Crown appointments in the country are made by a Sovereign, 
who is assisted by a Prime Minister chosen by the whole 
country. But he is chosen for many other reasons than the 
performance of this duty, and by many others besides Church- 
men. Nor can I look upon the tendency of English law to 
make the nomination of the Sovereign absolute, to be very 
satisfactory to the consciences either of Bishops themselves 
or of the clergy and laity of the land. There is very great 
practical advantage in the way of nomination as opposed 
to election, but it needs some checks, and the fact that it is 
almost unchecked makes it difficult for Bishops to assume the 
fulness of representative character. 

" The opening of Parliament to men of all or no creeds, and 
especially the large number of Presbyterians and Roman 
Catholics which it contains, make it obviously unfit to treat 
details of Church policy or internal management. The experi- 
ence of the last half-century in the Colonies (since 1850), 


and since 1869 in Ireland, have shown us that, where members 
of our communion are left to themselves, they organise Church 
government on very nearly the same lines everywhere, and 
that elected lay communicants sit with Bishops and clergy 
in council, to the great advantage of the community, and that 
they generally form a conservative element in this governing 

" For my own part I have come to the conclusion that the 
time is now ripe to press for the establishment of such a body 
among ourselves. The existence of the General Assembly 
in Scotland, and, I may add, of the Ecclesiastical Council in 
Sweden, show that such bodies are not inconsistent with estab- 
lishment. Nor do I think that it ought to lead to the disso- 
lution or absorption of the Provincial Convocations. But I 
believe that the power of summoning a National Council has 
never been taken away from the Church, since it was not 
mentioned in the " Submission of the Clergy," or in the Act 
of Parhament of 1534 (25 Henry VIII., c. 19, Gee and Hardy's 
Documents, p. 195) founded upon it. Such a National Council 
is what we need, and we may take a precedent in its compo- 
sition from so high a Churchman as St. Anselm, who in 1102 
specially asked the King that the chief men of the realm might 
be present at a Council of Westminster, in order that whatever 
was there resolved might be observed firmly by the agreement 
of both clergy and laity (Wilkins, Cone, i., p. 382). 

" How such a Council should be related to Convocations 
and Parhament, and to the Crown, I do not now wish to con- 
sider ; but I will point out that it is quite possible for it to 
sit in different years from the Convocations, or for the latter 
to meet only formally in the years when the National Council 
was summoned." 

So also, in a sermon in his Cathedral, on the 26th 
October, 1902, after the publication of the report : — 

" We want, in fact, a National Church Council in which 
Bishops, Clergy, and Laity should be fully represented, which 
should legislate for the Church in place of Parhament. of 
course with the consent of that body and of the Sovereign. 
Such a Council exists in the Established Church of Scotland 


in the General Assembly consisting of 371 ministers and 333 
lay elders. There is no reason why one should not be created 
in England, with such differences as the different history of 
the two countries and the different constitution of our Church 
make reasonable. I do not venture to say that, if such a 
Council were created, all our differences would disappear, but 
I do believe that it is the one instrument of reform which the 
Church first needs, if it is to provide things honest in the sight 
of all men, and as much as in it lies to be at peace with all 

And in a letter to a sister ^ he speaks of his own share 
in the matter. The Council is now taking the name with 
which we are familiar. 

" I was much occupied with the business of the Joint 
Meeting of Convocations and the Houses of Laymen, which 
was considering my special subject, the proposed National 
Council, or, as I think we shall now call it, the " Representative 
Council." I had to open the subject, and spoke for over forty 
minutes. My motion, slightly amended, was carried with only 
three dissentients. This was a great satisfaction to me. The 
whole meeting was on a high level — good speaking and nothing 
disagreeable or unworthy of the occasion, and the Archbishop 
made an excellent chairman. The general result was all right, 
but the initial franchise of laymen was expressed in very 
lumbering language and is needlessly restrictive, and the carry- 
ing it out will cause great trouble. I am to be on committee 
to draft further details. . . . 

" You will be thinking of the realisation of E. W. Benson's 
plans and hopes on Wednesday ^ with great thankfulness. 
It is a wonderful evidence of the blessing that attends a good 
desire, reasonably and yet warmly advocated. I only hope 
my plan of the National Council may have as good success 
after I am gone." 

Finally, he was able to proclaim to his Synod on the 
13th April, 1904, " it is my happy duty to announce 

1 Mrs. Steedman, 13th July, 1903. 
' The completion of Truro Cathedral. 


to you that this Council is now substantially in being." 
The six constituent bodies, the Bishops, Clergy, and 
Laymen of each of the two Convocations, had held a 
joint meeting, and all the six had separately, but in 
identical terms, requested the Archbishops to assemble 
a meeting of the Representative Church Council in July 
of that year. Such meetings have been regularly held 
since then, and if to the unimaginative it may merely 
seem that a seventh tributary has been swelling the 
river of words, there certainly are in this assembly 
the potentialities of future usefulness. If occasion 
should arise, it is ready to make its weighty pro- 

If a Council were desirable for the Church of the one 
nation, the Bishop felt that it was even more necessary 
to hold together the scattered elements of the Anglican 
Communion. Though his views remained unchanged 
till the end, the subject shall not be carried in this book 
beyond the Lambeth Conference of 1897. Canterbury, 
to Bishop Wordsworth, was the centre. Archbishop 
Benson, like Mr. Chamberlain, magnified the dominions 
and colonies. The interest he took in them naturally 
led to the magnifying of the metropolitan side of his office. 
Appeals of every kind and petitions for guidance flowed 
into Lambeth. Many of them were passed on with un- 
hesitating confidence by three successive Archbishops to 
Salisbury. Many requests also were sent from divers 
quarters directly to Bishop Wordsworth. Among the 
letters of gratitude which followed his death none are 
more striking than those of Bishops in many lands who 
had profited by his counsels. But all this was somewhat 
unofficial. Canterbury had not the public status that 
corresponded with its real position. By 1893 Archbishops 
were beginning to be multiplied, and the Archbishop of 
Canterbury grew anxious that the honour should not be 


lightly or irregularly conferred. He consulted the Bishop 
of Salisbury, who replied in haste ^ : — 

" I am sorry that I can throw no light on the powers of a 
provincial Synod to create an Archbishop. I should be 
inclined offhand to say that ' Archbishop ' was now little 
different from Metropolitan, though at one time it had more 
the sense of Patriarch. I think if the title is going to be taken 
all round {e.g. Cape, Austraha, etc.) it might lead naturally 
to the revival or adoption of the Patriarchal title at Canter- 
bury. Some kind of distinction is desirable, and perhaps it is 
advisable to denote the unity of the Anghcan communion in 
some such way." 

This jealousy for the dignity of Canterbury was shown 
also, at the end of his life, in a suggestion that the Arch- 
bishop should display his superiority to the only see that 
could possibly be a rival to his own. He wrote to Arch- 
bishop Davidson 2 : — 

" I hope you will at least consider the gift of a palHum 
by yourself to the Archbishop of York under 25 Hen. VHI. 
c. 20, § 4, which is still on the Statute Book, and which was 
repeated for Ireland, 2 Ehz. c. 4, Ireland, in 1560." 

His wish was for a definite constitution of the whole 
communion. He desired that no steps of importance 
should be taken anywhere without the previous assent 
of a Central Council, over which the Archbishop of Canter- 
bury would naturally preside. The Lambeth Conferences 
had done good work, but they were informal. They had 
but prepared the way. Writing to his diocese from New 
Zealand, after a wide survey of Church life at the 
Antipodes, he sketched his plan for an Anglican Council 
and suggests the date for its execution : — 

" Would it not now be almost time to go a step further, 
and does not the commemoration of 1897 — thirteen hundred 

1 29th October, 1893. * nth January, 1909. 


years from the landing of St. Augustine — offer a fitting oppor- 
tunity for it ? What is wanted, I think, is a voluntary compact 
on the part of the scattered Anglican Churches, from which 
the American dioceses might or might not desire to be formally 
exempt, acknowledging their submission in really important 
matters to a Council representing the whole body. We must, 
I venture also to think, beware of confusing judicial and 
conciliar business. The system of appeals to Rome has 
hampered, if not ruined, the Papacy as an organ of true 
Church government after the mind of Christ ; and we must be 
careful also to emphasise the fact that reference to such a 
Council would be made, if made by our different Provinces, 
on the basis of ' voluntary consensual compact,' and not as 
a matter essential to faith or life. The orthodox Eastern 
Churches furnish us with examples of Churches holding the 
same faith, yet under Synods with very distinct powers and 
wholly independent of one another. But during the process 
of growth, and certainly as long as we are all subjects of one 
Sovereign, the Anglican Churches ought to have something 
like a common governing body, for purposes of united strength, 
authority, and comfort." 

This letter was written just before the Bishop started 
on his voyage of return. He reached England before it 
appeared in print, and continued the subject in his address 
to the Synod on the 2nd May, 1895 : — 

"If we are to rise to the height of our mission it must 
be by making our unity secure and preserving intact our 
Catholic inheritance in the Ministry and Liturgy, in the doctrine 
and discipline of our Church. At present there is no desire 
or thought of improving it ; but with a growing organisation 
of General and Provincial, as well as Diocesan Synods, of 
Primates, Metropolitans, Archbishops, and the like, will 
probably come a desire to strike out into new paths and to 
grapple with some of the problems which are manifestly set 
before us in possibly an impatient manner. It is as indica- 
tions of such a possible movement that the action of the Arch- 
bishop of Dublin in consecrating Sefior Cabrera, and of the 


Church of Canada in assuming for two of its Metropolitans the 
title of Archbishop, become more significant than they would 
otherwise be. In themselves, there is much to be said for both 
actions. I have never been one to judge hastily of the act of 
the Archbishop of Dublin, whom I know well and love and 
honour much, and I can see that his act has had the double 
advantage of all5nng to our communion a body of Spanish 
Christians, who appear to have more merit than is often con- 
ceded to them, and who might otherwise have drifted into 
Presbyterianism, and of proclaiming in a very forcible way to 
ah the world the value which we set on the vahd succession of 
the Episcopate. Personally I have always doubted the expedi- 
ency of the act more than its moral and ecclesiastical pro- 
priety. I mention it now partly to give you my own judgment 
upon it, which I think you are entitled to have, partly as an 
example of the need of consultation before any Province or 
branch of our Church takes steps in the way of union or inter- 
communion with other Christians, which manifestly in some 
degree involve the whole body. The act of the Church of 
Canada is, I think, abundantly justified by their own local 
position, especially as regards the established Roman hierarchy. 
But I should have thought it happier if it could have been 
carried out in consultation with the rest of the Anglican 
Episcopate. I was glad to find that this was decidedly the 
feeling of the General Synod of the Church of New Zealand, 
both as regards its own possible action and that which is 
actually contemplated by the Provinces of South Africa and 
Australia. The time, therefore, seems to have come when it 
would be wise to put into some concrete form the under- 
lying principle of unity of action in regard to more important 
matters, which is implied and involved by our calling ourselves 
members of one great Anglican Church. The time seems to 
have come when not only the Bishops meeting at Lambeth 
in 1897, but the General and Provincial Synods or governing 
bodies of different groups of dioceses, should consider under 
what conditions true conciliar action should be taken by the 
Bishops of the different branches of our Church throughout 
the world, and how far they would think it right voluntarily 
to limit their own powers of making changes apart from such 
supposed councils." 


It was natural that, having great knowledge and great 
enthusiasm, he should take the lead in a committee of 
Bishops appointed in 1895 to consider the " organisation 
of the Anglican Communion." It presented a report, 
which he had drawn up, to a meeting of Bishops held 
early in 1896. His note on his own copy runs : — 

" This was never published. It led to my being chairman 
of the committee of the Lambeth Conference on the subject, 
where I had a difficult team of Archbishops, Primates, etc., 
to drive." 

So strong was that spirit of independence to which 
Archdeacon Bodington has alluded. ^ 

Finally, after the Lambeth Conference had broken 
up, having taken steps which fell far short of the Bishop's 
hopes, he reviewed at the Nottingham Church Congress ^ 
the progress made. A " Central Consultative Body " 
and a " Tribunal of Reference " had been established, 
useful from the start and the earnest of greater things 
in the future. For in his eyes this machinery had a truly 
spiritual value. At the Synod of Clergy which followed 
the Lambeth Conference of 1897, and accepted its resolu- 
tions as binding, the Bishop commended them to the 
imagination as well as to the reason of his hearers : — 

" The Anglican Communion, very largely by the successive 
action of these Conferences, is growing to be much more than 
a convenient name. We begin to see what a part it may play, 
as a whole, in the conversion of the world, in the discipline of 
the nations, in the reunion of Christendom. Our conceptions 
of loyalty, of duty, of responsibility, may be wonderfully 
enlarged by placing it constantly before our mental vision. 
We feel that it is right to give time and thought to its organi- 
sation, that is to its effective embodiment as an instrument of 
God's glory. Organisation is no mere cold and dry thing ; 
it is the raiment of brilHant needlework in which the Bride 
of Christ is arrayed." 

1 See p. 253. ^ September, 1897. 



A SKETCH of the Bishop's relation to the clergy of the 
diocese must begin with a word about his interest in 
his Theological College. It was very close. He took his 
share in lecturing and in many ways tried to make his 
influence felt. And he was satisfied, on the whole, with 
the results achieved. In 1897 he wrote to the Vice- 
Principal ^ : — 

" I like much the type of men we send out from the College, 
and think they are distinguished generally by a manly simplicity 
which is not always a characteristic of Theological College men. 
But I should like to see a greater tenderness about them — in 
fact, a greater love of souls — and a greater elevation of hope, 
both for this world and the next. I feel my own deficiency 
in both very constantly." 2 

As an instance of his individual dealing with the 

1 The Rev. H. F. Stewart, now Dean of St. John's College, Cam- 
bridge, 30th July, 1897. 

^ It may be worth noting that he did not regard such Colleges 
as substitutes for Universities. In 1887 he wrote to Canon Sir James 
Philipps : " Last year a number of former students of our Salisbury 
Theological College petitioned me for a distinctive hood for non- 
graduates. ... I do not myself think that our Diocesan and Missionary 
Colleges are sufficiently strong and independent bodies, either as 
regards teaching or examining, to grant quasi-degrees. For a hood 
which does not imply something of the nature of a degree is a kind of 
fraud upon the public." This position he maintained to the end ; but 
in his last years he was planning the affiliation of Salisbury College 
with Durham and Bristol Universities. Since his death it has been 


students, one example must suffice. One of them, in the 
last year of the Bishop's life, tells how he was in serious 
anxiety and needed counsel. Not only did the Bishop 
grant him a prolonged interview, allowing him to tell 
the full story and giving him the guidance he required, 
but he also wrote him several letters of advice. The 
help so given has been of lasting value, and the words, 
" Try to cultivate a broad back ; I have had to do so," 
are well remembered. ^ In the Warminster Missionary 
College the Bishop also took due interest, and was justly 
proud of the services rendered by its students in many 
lands. But with a Warden so masterful, and so ready to 
take responsibility, financially and otherwise, as Sir 
James Philipps, he could not share so actively in the 

After his success in gaining recruits for the ministry, 
and in guiding their lives during their Arts course at 
Oxford, he naturally had views of the place of the 
University in the training of candidates. He was not 
satisfied with the existing want of system. Speaking 
in 1901 of a state of affairs which is still unchanged,^ 
he said : — 

" What is really needed is that the moral and spiritual 
training of candidates should become much better organised 
than it is at the Universities. No doubt the intellectual 
training has received a great impetus. The opportunities 
given of instruction in theology in the last thirty years have 
been wonderfully increased. But the spiritual training of 
candidates at the Universities is left too much to chance. 
There are, of course, excellent professors and friendly tutors 
ready to receive men who come, but definite provision is not 
made everywhere to find out whether a man is a candidate 
for Orders or not, or whether he is likely so to become. There 
is no general list kept of such persons, and though opportunities 

^ From the Rev. G. R. Channer, student in 1910. 

* Speech in the Upper House of Convocation, 8th May, 1901. 


are freely given, yet it sometimes happens that most Hkely 
men fall through, and at the end of their time are able to say, 
' Nobody ever spoke to me at all about it.' What I think is 
wanted, at any rate, is this, that when a man comes to us from 
the University be should come provided not merely with 
certificates of having attended a few courses of lectures, but 
with a single divinity testimonial certifying that he has not 
only attended a sufficient number of lectures, either profes- 
sorial or collegiate, to make him sufficiently well equipped 
intellectually, but that his moral and spiritual conduct has 
been such as to qualify him to seek Holy Orders. This would, 
of course, throw a much greater strain upon the professors 
and tutors, but I beheve it is a strain which they now see that 
they must be called upon reasonably to bear. I think that it 
would have a good effect, and I do not think that they would 
at all resent it. This is my small contribution, which has been 
in my mind, as you may naturally suppose, a great number of 
years, and I hope that it may reach those whom it is intended 
to reach. Its two points are — one organisation, one testi- 

Here he was speaking of the old Universities. He 
valued also men whose training had been only at a 
Theological College ; in fact, his sole prejudice (and it 
had its exceptions) was against those who had left a 
University without a degree. But in his last days he 
cherished those ambitious ideals which the English 
Bishops tell us they will try in a few years to bring 
into action. In his sermon in 1910 to the Cincinnati 
Convention he sketched a plan which was not alto- 
gether consonant with views he has been known to utter 
elsewhere : — 

" In England we feel more and more the need of a com- 
bination of University and seminary life in our preparation 
for the priesthood. We perceive the need of both, and are at 
least seriously considering how to provide means for it. Some 
of us think that for ordinary men vocation should be first 
tested by a preliminary year at a theological college. Then 


students should be sent, under supervision, if possible in a 
college or hostel, to one of the Universities, and there take a 
degree in Arts, which could probably be accomplished in two 
years more. Then they should return for a final year of 
training at the theological college. On the whole, we should 
prefer to have our seminaries for clergy away from the great 
centres of population, and, if possible, in touch with our 
Cathedral life. . . . There can be no doubt that the College 
of Cuddesdon, to name only one of them, under the influence 
of so saintly yet thoroughly practical a man as Edward King, 
late Bishop of Lincoln, has produced a type of men who are 
the strength of the Church of England — men of whom it may 
be said, ' In returning and rest shall ye be saved, in quietness 
and confidence shall be your strength ' — men who know why 
they believe and what they believe — loyal, regular, and 
obedient, self-denying and happy in their ministry, ready 
and resourceful, not worn out or crushed by premature 
practicality, yet ready to express in our city life, as well as in 
our country towns and villages, the vision which they have 
seen on the Mount of God." 

Of his care for the younger clergy one example must 
again suffice : — 

" I write a few lines on an important subject. I mean your 
own self-discipline in regard to early rising and punctuahty 
at schools and services. I regret to hear it reported that you 
have not yet found means to conquer the difficulty about which 
I spoke to you before your ordination as Deacon, and I think 
also since on one occasion. I do not know how often you fail 
in this respect, but I have heard of sufficient cases to make it 
clear to me that you require a helping hand to point out the 
real importance of improvement. ... As you are a candidate 
for Priest's Orders you will understand that it is a solemn duty 
for me to warn you in time that I shall require evidence 
of a real change in your habits before I can admit you to the 
Priesthood. You will, I know, take this letter just as it is 
meant by me, that is in all kindness." 

Of the Bishop's methods of gaining knowledge of 


the clergy and their parishioners, Canon Inman ^ writes 
that the chief points were : — 

" (i) That he originated the idea of a Bishop making a 
short stay in each of several centres in his diocese, and thence 
visiting every parish in turn. The Bishop of Worcester does 
this, but Bishop Wordsworth would have been before him, 
had not circumstances prevented it. (2) The careful and 
original thought he gave to any parochial difficulty, (3) The 
remarkable way in which he could find time and energy to 
explain to an ordinary priest httle difficulties in Holy Scripture 
or Liturgy. (4)' His extraordinary generosity to the clergy. 

You will see a letter giving me carte blanche in Mr. -'s 

case. I could tell you several more instances of his 
unbounded munificence. But they were always, if possible, 
secret charities. (5) His powers of observation while on his 
travels. (6) How full of fun he was when he felt he might 
* let himself go ' safely. Note the pun on my name in one 

Canon Inman says that the letters he received from 
the Bishop show his " extraordinary versatility of mind 
and unwearied industry, even when suffering a good 
deal." Unfortunately, there is space only for one of 
them, in which he plans an exhaustive inspection of the 
diocese which was interrupted by Mrs. Wordsworth's 
death. He writes with regard to one Rural Deanery ^ : — 

" I think the best plan would be to come to you for the 
last fortnight in August. Of course, this is not a very good 
time for the clergy and the schools, but harvest, I suppose, 
will be over then this year. I might have the following pro- 
gramme for each day : — 

" Quiet morning at Potterne. 

" Lunch with some neighbour, clerical or lay, at one. 

" Inspect school, church, etc. 

" Hold children's catechising at three. 

1 Formerly Vicar of Gillingham, Dorset ; afterwards Vicar of 
Potterne, Wilts., and Rural Dean. 
* 1st July, 1894. 



" Tea for village people at five. 

" Evening prayer and sermon at 6 or 6.30. 

" Home about eight. 

" I think I would draw up a printed list mentioning the 
subjects of the catechising beforehand, and asking all parents 
(of the upper and middle classes as well) to send their children 
to it. Perhaps the subjects of the sermons might also be 
announced. Could you favour me with some hints, topics, 
difficulties ? " 

The Bishop then gives the names of twelve parishes 
he proposes to visit from Potterne, and continues : — 

" I name httle places which do not often see a Bishop. 
Could you get your brethren in whose Deaneries they are to 
arrange days, etc. ? There is a fortnight's work here." 

At the end of his life he was contemplating a remarkable 
modification of this plan. In the visitation that would 
have been held in 1912, had he lived, he proposed to follow 
a precedent set by Burnet, his great predecessor. Preach- 
ing in the Cathedral on the 5th February, 191 1, he 
suggested this novel procedure : — 

" A whole Deanery might be visited in a fortnight. I 
should propose at these parochial visits to induce each incum- 
bent, even of the smallest parishes, to give an account of his 
stewardship, his aims and efforts, in the presence of the Bishop 
or Archdeacon and the Rural Dean, and especially his own 
parishioners. Such an account, extending for a whole incum- 
bency or for some ten years past, would be a valuable historical 
document. It would help many an incumbent to think more 
clearly of his life in relation to his work, and to judge himself 
more fairly. It would reveal to many of our people what 
we clergy were aiming at, and why we do this or that or refrain 
from something else. It would promote sympathy ; it would 
be an opportunity for official encouragement ; it would perhaps 
draw out expressions of dissent or criticism. Yet it might 
give occasion for explanation and reconciliation, such as 
are sometimes needed in this world of fallible men,"^ 


When the sermon was published in the Diocesan 
Gazette it was read by many of the clergy almost with 
consternation, and so many protests and appeals were 
addressed to the Bishop that he let it be known that this 
stringent investigation should be modified, if not 

Like all pastorally minded Bishops, he took a peculiar 
interest in his Confirmations. He followed his father's 
example in insisting that the rite should accompany 
morning or evening prayer, and perhaps the length of 
the combined service, and sometimes the subjects of 
his address, which was apt to deal with the topics upper- 
most in his mind, rendered the occasion a little difiicult 
for the young. But usually his words were spirited 
and likely to catch the attention. The children must 
have listened eagerly enough during the spring tour of 
1904, when he wrote to Bishop Wallis : — 

" I have generally begun with a motto I saw in the school- 
room at Sturminster Marshall. * Our motto this week is 
Be Thorough ' — the difference between gilt and gold, veneer 
and solid wood, etc. On the ' idle word ' I have emphasised 
' give account,' and shown the value of merry talk (cf. Grosse- 
teste's tria necessaria ad vitam, cibus somnus et iocus) if 
kept within the four lines (like a game of football) of rever- 
ence, purity, truth, and kindness." 

Among the sermons that he printed were several, 
especially those preached on Easter Days in the Cathedral, 
that had been addressed to the newly confirmed ; they 
were usually dedicated " To my young fellow-workers in 
Christ, and especially to those who were confirmed ..." 
— the occasions being specified. 

In his Easter Day sermon in 1898 he laid stress on 
Confirmation as peculiarly characteristic of the English 
Church. The notion was not so common then as it is 


to-day ; and certainly Bishop Wordsworth has influenced 
thought by drawing attention to this consideration : — 

"It is not a mere accident that the bent of the Greek 
mind is specially towards making much of Baptism, the bent 
of the Roman mind towards the theology and ceremonial 
of the Eucharist, but the bent of the English mind is rather 
towards dignifying and thinking much of the rite of Confirma- 
tion. There can be no doubt that it has grown to be of special 
interest and importance to ourselves, in the natural course 
of God's providence, dealing with a practical and personally 
religious people. Indeed, the feeling in this country dates 
back several centuries before the Reformation. England is 
perhaps the one country in Christendom where the laying on 
of hands has longest existed as the outward sign of Confirma- 
tion. What, then, does Confirmation mean to us especially ? 
It is being consecrated and ordained to the lay-priesthood, 
or rather, to put it still more broadly, to a share in the three 
Messianic of&ces of our Saviour, those of Prophet, Priest, and 

The following letter deals with a practical difficulty. 
A clergyman had excited ill-will in his parish by refusing 
to present for Confirmation certain children who would 
not promise never to go to the chapel : — 

" As to the children refused for Confirmation, I am very 
unwilling to interfere between a clergyman and his flock in 
such a part of his work. Had you taught the school regularly, 
as you ought in my opinion to have done, you would have 
probably had no need to make any conditions with your 
children. It is, of course, most desirable that Confirmation 
should be felt as a definite tie to the Church. But I cannot 
think it a good thing to exact special pledges from children on 
a matter in which they find their parents so very lax, and 
where the guilt of schism varies so enormously under different 
conditions. In some cases to attend a chapel is merely a way 
of filling up vacant hours which would otherwise probably 
be ill spent, and is far from being any token of disloyalty to 
the Church. In others it is distinctly schismatic. What are 


the conditions in your case it is difficult for me to determine. 
... I shall probably be having a Confirmation in November 
somewhere in your neighbourhood. I hope you will kindly 
give notice of this, and open the door to those whom you 
before refused to become candidates. Teach them their duty 
thoroughly, but do not make them take vows other than those 
imposed by the Church." 

As a last illustration of his teaching on such occasions, 
a letter may be given, written to a niece, who was also 
his God-daughter, in the time of his sorrow in 1894 : — 

" I am sorry that you are not to be confirmed here to- 
day, but as it cannot be, the next best thing is that it should 
be at Lincoln. Confirmation day is in some respects the 
most important day of fife. Baptism would be, I suppose, 
if we could remember it, but Confirmation is the completion 
of Baptism, and neither can be repeated. You have much to 
thank God for, my dear Godchild, and I hope that this will 
be the uppermost thought on Saturday and the keynote of 
your life. ' Giving thanks always for all things unto God 
and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ ' is a 
text I often speak about at Confirmations. ' Always,' i.e. in 
all tempers and moods, ' for all things,' sorrows and disappoint- 
ments as well as joys and pleasures, ' unto the Father ' Who 
has made us for Himself, and sometimes treats us with Fatherly 
reserve in His Fatherly love, doing with us, and by us, some- 
thing greater and more strange than we can conceive in our 
ignorance. ' Through our Lord Jesus Christ,' Who was 
perfected by suffering, and through Whom we are, after Con- 
firmation, specially to offer the sacrifice of praise and thanks- 
giving in Holy Communion. If ever we find it hard to give 
God thanks, let us say ' through our Lord Jesus Christ.' 

" You know how much we are suffering this Holy Week 
through your dear aunt's illness. It fits in very beautifully 
with the thoughts of our Lord's Passion. She is so brave and 
bright and yet so sad to think of leaving us, as we fear it is 
God's will that she must do. Some day you will loiow, perhaps, 
what the mixture of joy and sorrow is that we feel. Of joy, 
because she is able ' through Jesus Christ ' to bear her sufferings 


as the work He gives her to do for Him, and to keep her faith 
without wavering. Of sorrow, because we know that no person 
can take the place of another, and that when she is gone 
we shall feel the want of her presence all the rest of our lives. 
" I must not write more as I have to go to the Cathedral 
in a few minutes. We shall think of you on Saturday, and 
pray that God Who has begun a good work in you may confirm 
it even unto the end at the day of the Lord Jesus. Let me 
know if there is any book you would like to have." 

It is perhaps worth nothing in regard to Confirmation, 
that he gave no sanction to the custom of taking a new 
Christian name on that occasion ; yet once, in the case 
of a girl whom her parents had burdened with the name 
of " Tulip," he relaxed his rule. 

Of the Bishop's guidance to the clergy in regard to 
marriage problems a few examples shall here be given. 
He writes to one ^ : — 

" I hope I feel very deeply with the parochial clergy ; but 
I have to do a duty to all whom this matter concerns, and 
especially to try and think clearly. Marriage is only so far 
in the hands of the Church as it exists among Christians 
under the law of Christ. What then, I ask, is the law of 
Christ ? He seems to me clearly to accept thus much of the 
law of nature, that a man cannot be expected to cohabit with 
a woman who is unfaithful and who brings him illegitimate 
children. He must, for the sake of his other children and of 
his home, put her away either temporarily or permanently ; 
to live in such confusion is impossible. The separation a 
mensa et ihoro is not carrying out the object of marriage ; it 
is, in fact, alien to it ; it exposes a woman to nearly all the 
dangers of a feme sole. It is an ecclesiastical invention based 
on a theory of marriage which has (as far as I can see) no 
sufficient warrant in Scripture or reason, viz. that it is absolutely 
indissoluble ; and the temptation thereby imposed on both 
parties is also a very serious element in the case. 

" Is it not wiser for the Church to say in such a case, * I 

' Rev. Christopher Wordsworth, 12th September, 1896. 


will, however unwilling to advise such a course, draw a 
real distinction between the parties, and admit one to the 
blessing of a second marriage, without any special facility 
such as a licence gives — if he claims it as a member of the 
Church ' ? " 

And to the same ^ : — 

" My point is : Our Lord's answer (recorded by St. 
Matthew) was given on the basis of the Mosaic law, which 
expressly provided that a woman divorced by her husband 
might remarry. Her remarriage (though it may not be 
sanctioned by the Church) is not a ' perpetual adultery.' 
An act of adultery is (perhaps) her first sin ; but it is not 
suitable to the ' gentleness of Christ ' to invent new terms of 
reprobation to describe a state which she has entered into 
with His implied permission. Our Lord knew that women 
need home life, bad women as much as good. 

" I do not think the possible omission of the clause about 
marrying her that is put away a matter of great importance. 
The point is that in Matt. xix. 9, as far as I know, all MSB. 
read koI yafirja-rj akk-qv. This is really what is questioned now 
among us. It lies in a nutshell, so to speak. Such remarriage 
is not adultery ; is it so unworthy of a Christian man as to 
be visited with a penalty, and possibly with excommunica- 
tion ? I only raised the other point because I thought that 
you were not quite giving sufficient credit to a man who might 
say, ' For my erring wife's own sake I will dissolve the marriage 
between us, because things have gone too far for a return 
to be possible, and I wish her to have a settled domicile.' 

" As to the poor. My own experience is naturally mostly 
at second-hand, but it is not altogether small. When they wish 
for divorce they desert one another and take care to be ignorant 
of each other's whereabouts till three years have elapsed, 
which is now, I think, the time fixed by the judges after which 
an action for bigamy will not lie. This the poor are generally 
well aware of : only they think that it is an actual law instead 
of being judge'-made law, as it is in regard to the time. I am 
writing simply, of course, from memory." 

» 1 8th October, 1896. 


Similarly, to the Bishop of Wellington, New 
Zealand ^ : — 

" I imagine that those who hold -n-opveia to be ' un chastity 
before marriage ' would (though I think our law would not) 
allow a man to divorce his wife for this cause. You know, 
however, that this view was put out first by DoUinger in an 
appendix to his First Age of the Church, to which J. Coning- 
ton well replied in the Contemporary Review of May, i86g. 
DoUinger is arguing against a view that no one of us, I think, 
would hold, viz. that an act of adultery ipso facto dissolves 
marriage — a German scholar's view, not an English one. 
We should hold that the marriage was only dissolved on appli- 
cation of the injured party, through a court of law ; much 
in the same way that Moses required a carefully prepared 
' writing of divorcement,' and did not permit marriage to 
be dissolved in a fit of temper. 

" I have practically no doubt that our Lord meant by 
TTopveia grave unchastity after marriage, whether habitual or 
a single flagrant act, and that He gave a husband the power 
to set aside a wife who was guilty of it and to marry another. 
ITopveta is the generic term, and includes [loix^ia, as is seen 
by the Epistle of Clement to James (which stands at the head 
of the Clementine Homilies), § 8. 

" Our Lord was speaking to the Jews of his own generation, 
and therefore to those who in a bill of divorcement gave power 
to the divorced woman to marry another. Buxtorf, Syn. 
Judaica, p. 644, and Surenhusius, Mischna, III., pp. 324, 325, 
give the form. I quote from the latter. It includes the phrase 
* Quae fuisti antehac uxor mea, nunc dimitto, derelinquo, 
repudio ut in tua potestate tuique iuris sis deinceps et nubas 
cuicumque valuer is viro.' There can be no doubt that the man 
intended to use the power of remarriage himself. 

" On the other hand, I think it is certain that a man has 
rights in this matter which a woman has not in the same 
degree. I should hesitate to talk of this in public, but it is 
clear to me (i) that to a man is committed the duty of handing 
on the family inheritance, whether it be moral or material, 
much more than to a woman. It may come to be a duty 
1 i2th July. 1898. 


to a man to get rid of a woman who would bring him an illegi- 
timate offspring, and under such circumstances it may be no 
wrong in him to remarry ; (2) A man has much greater diffi- 
culty in making a home than a woman. A woman can always 
get other women to live with ; not so a man, and women are 
necessary to the making of a home ; (3) a man's temptations 
are much greater than a woman's. For these three reasons, 
I do not think it follows from our Lord's permission that a 
woman has the same right, as a matter of Christian con- 
science, to put away her husband that an injured man has 
to put away his guilty wife. She has it under the English 

" Looking to the practical aspect of things, I am in favour 
of preventing remarriage in church of either party : (i) because 
of the character of the marriage service ; (2) because of the 
very frequent instances of collusion — and, where collusion 
does not take place, of something wrong in the attitude and 
behaviour of the so-called innocent parties. I have therefore, 
as far as I can, forbidden the issue of licences to either party, 
and if a clergyman comes to me and asks what he is to do as 
to marriage by banns I should say, Dissuade the innocent 
parties from seeking marriage in church. If they insist and 
threaten legal proceedings, you must use your discretion. You 
are not bound to go to prison, but short of that you had better 
avoid having anything to do with it. This practically is our 
advice in Convocation, as you will see. On the other hand, 
we hold fast to the Lambeth Conference of 1888, as to not 
ordering clergy to refuse communion to ' innocent ' parties 
remarried, if they are not otherwise under suspicion. 

"As to penitence. If a man or woman commits adultery 
and does not marry the associate in guilt but remains for a 
time penitent, I think it would be generally agreed that he 
or she may be received to communion after a period of, say, 
five years. But if the two guilty parties marry they cannot 
be admitted to communion as long as they live together, 
unless the former husband and wife are dead — and then 
only on proof of penitence. I have, alas ! a case of this 
kind now, in which I have directed (of course) the refusal 
of communion." 


Concerning the marriage of the unbaptised he 
wrote 1 : — 

" It is, I think, clear that if both parties are unbaptised 
the clergy cannot be called upon to marry them any more than 
they can be called upon to bury them. Further, the P.B. 
up to the last revision provided that the parties must receive 
Holy Communion. In 1662 this rule was altered into the 
present final rubric which presupposes that they are not only 
baptised but confirmed. . . . The difficulty begins when one 
of the parties is baptised and confirmed, and the other is 
not. As a matter of law, the question was apparently raised, 
at least to some extent, in the case Reg. versus Moorhouse- 
James, quoted in Hammick's Marriage Law, p. 212, in which a 
clergyman refused a man because he had not been confirmed, 
nor was willing to be confirmed. The judges before whom he 
was indicted decided in his favour on a somewhat technical 
ground, adding that even if his refusal to marry on the ground 
of absence of confirmation was wrong it was only an ecclesi- 
astical offence, and ought not, I presume, to have been tried 
at the assizes. 

" On the whole, I think that a clergyman who refused 
to marry, when either party was unbaptised, would be sus- 
tained in his refusal, because there is another mode of legal 
marriage freely open to such persons. Nor do I think that he 
could be forced to lend his church for such a marriage. . , . 
I should tell them that their marriage at the Registry was 
perfectly lawful, and that I should admit the Church member 
to Communion and the other to Baptism and Confirmation, 
as soon as he or she desired it, and would then give them both 
a blessing in church. 

" The matter is, hoM^ever, one for serious consideration, 
and I should desire to take counsel with theologians. The 
early Church — ^which had no fixed marriage service — did not 
consider marriages between Christians and heathens unlawful, 
though it held them inexpedient. Our unbaptised persons 
are not generally heathens, but Baptists." 

In regard to Nonconformists it may here be said that 
1 To the Rev. Chr. Wordsworth, 4th November, 1899. 


the Bishop had a high sense of the value of organised 
religion and of the value of loyal adherence to a definite 
society. The date and place shall not be disclosed, but 
the following letter was provoked by the action of a 
politician, not a Nonconformist, who took conspicuous 
part in a Nonconformist service, and explained his action, 
after remonstrance from the Bishop, in singularly ill-chosen 
terms : — 

" As I look with equal tolerance upon all religions which 
have the Bible as the foundation of their belief, I regret that 
I am unable to share your view of what I have done." 

The Bishop replied : — 

" It may save some trouble if I make it clear that my 
only object in writing was (i) to help you personally at a time 
when the line of duty may be somewhat obscured by the excite- 
ment of a contest and the pursuit of an immediate end, and 
(2) to do what I can, through you, to keep up the standard 
of religious life in , of which you are now the represen- 
tative. I should say, then, that this is not a question of 
' tolerance,' of which I may claim to have a considerable 
share, but of the claims of religious profession upon the con- 
science and upon the conduct of life. Religion is the service 
of God, and, as such, necessarily involves a certain amount 
of discipline and of submission to order, not of one's own 
making. In order to get the full benefit of religion, and to 
grow strong in character, we have to belong to a Church. 
The unattached Christian, who is always patching at his 
religion, ends generally by having very little. He has no 
religious habits to speak of ; he has no companions, between 
whom and himself mutual confidence exists ; there is no one 
whose advice or reproof he acknowledges as having a claim 
upon him. If a man is not a Churchman, let him at any rate 
be an attached Presbyterian, Wesleyan, or Congregationahst. 
In that way he may reahse something of what our Lord 
means by ' the Kingdom of God.' That kingdom, when it 
comes, will no doubt be broader and more comprehensive than 
any present Christian communion, but it will be at any rate 


a state and place of discipline. The further point, of the 
occasion chosen by yourself for this display of ' tolerance,' 
is one on which I will say no more than that I hope you will 
see on reflection that it has justly given pain to those who, 
like myself, have a high personal esteem for you." 

Similarly, he advised a lady of fortune who was sub- 
sidising an undenominational mission in a market-town 
of his diocese to transfer her support to the Wesleyans, 
since she was not content to confine her gifts to the Church. 
Among the Wesleyans she would find a continuous life 
and a corporate conscience that were lacking in undenomi- 
national efforts. 

In regard to burial, the troubles of the diocese of 
Salisbury and their solution were in no wise peculiar to 
it. But the Bishop, following his father, used all his 
influence against the practice of cremation, and (once, at 
any rate) used his knowledge to discourage it. Applica- 
tion was made to the Chancellor of the diocese for a 
faculty for the fixing of an urn containing the ashes of a 
deceased person within a church in view of the congre- 
gation. The Chancellor consulted the Bishop, and received 
his reply 1 : — 

" Christian custom understood the placing of remains 
above the floor of the Church as an act of canonisation. It 
was, in fact, the method adopted for so doing up to the ninth 
century ; see Mazochius, Kalendarium, pp. xxx. f . (Naples, 
1744), on the words levare, levatio. We do not honour our 
dead generals above other Christians." 

The consecration of churches, its history and the 
mode of its performance, were topics in which he was 
deeply learned, and in which his practice has influenced 
general usage. His attention was called to it by the 
ceremony which he had to perform on Michaelmas Day, 

^ To Chancellor Bourne, 13th November, 1907. 


1886, at the consecration of the stately chapel of Marl- 
borough College. He drew up the service, and from that 
time onwards devoted himself to the perfecting of an order 
for the purpose, of which many successive editions have 
been published. It has been adopted, with or without 
change, in many other dioceses. But his great oppor- 
tunity came when, at Archbishop Temple's request, he 
consecrated the Collegiate Church of St. George at Jeru- 
salem. That ceremony, as has already been narrated, 
was on the i8th October, 1898, and shortly after his 
return to England the Bishop published a learned discourse 
on the general subject. ^ Among the notes for this work 
which he jotted down during his journey occurs the 
following passage, of which he made only a partial use 
in the published text : — 

" The further ancient ceremonies both in the East and West 
have to do with a temporary ' craze,' we may almost call it ; — 
the desire to treat every church as the burial place of a martyr ; 
a desire which grew up in the fourth century, when this kind 
of hero worship was prevalent in the now dominant Church, 
which contrasted its peaceful comfort with the struggles of a 
generation not very far distant, and when the intrusion of a 
number of half-converts from heathenism made it natural 
to fiU the space between God and the soul with a number 
of intermediate beings, like the lower gods of polytheism. 
Any one looking at the old service must see that this element 
has a very unfortunate prominence and leads to a continuance 
of superstition, while it is demonstrably a mere accretion. 
We have, of course, entirely to break with this materialist 
view of the kingdom of God, which attaches virtue to fragments 
of bone or dress as if they brought us nearer to holy company. 
This is one reason for preferring a wooden and movable holy 
table to one made of stone ; — that there may be no idea of a 

1 ' ' On the Rite of Consecration of Churches, especially in the Church 
of England, together with the Form of Prayer and Order of Ceremonies 
in use in the Diocese of Salisbury." London. S.P.C.K., for the Church 
Historical Society, 1899. 


burial place in the altar. In place of it we have to bring out, 
what is very suitable to the Anglican conception of priesthood, 
the many ways in which the Church is to bring human Ufe 
nearer to God. It was the thought of this that led many of 
our medieval teachers to count consecration of churches not 
only as a sacrament, but as one of the greatest of sacraments, 
because by it provision was made for the due celebration of all 
other sacraments ; and I confess that there seems to me great 
truth in this view. If we do not limit the term to sacred and 
significant rites actually ordained by Christ Himself, we shall 
think very highly of it among the number. For nothing can 
be clearer than that He thought highly of the Temple and 
its consecration, since at the beginning and the end of His 
ministry He cleansed it, and since He made it so constantly 
the centre of His teaching." 

In connection with the consecration of St. George's, 
I find one of the very few notices of an interest in music 
in the Bishop's later life. Archdeacon Carpenter, who 
was Precentor of Salisbury Cathedral in Bishop Words- 
worth's day, tells how the Bishop, when he was preparing 
to start for the consecration of St. George's, one day came 
to see him at his house in the Close, and walking to the 
pianoforte surprised him (who had an impression that the 
Bishop did not know a note of music) by saying, " Car- 
penter, I am wanting to have a litany for the occasion. 
Can you make me something out of this ? " And suiting 
the action to the word he struck half a dozen notes. The 
Precentor says that they perfectly conveyed the motive, 
for which he was able to supply the harmonies. The 
litany was played and sung at the dedication of the church, 
to the gratification of a musical critic, who, seeing the 
Precentor afterwards, asked him where that litany could 
be found, and who was its composer. The Archdeacon 
adds that though the Bishop's intoning of the litany at 
the assembling of Convocation, which he made a point 
of undertaking as Precentor in the Provincial College of 


Bishops, was not such as would have been approved by 
St. Osmund or other of his musical predecessors in the 
see of Sarum/ yet his criticisms and remarks on the 
Cathedral service were always just and quite correct. 

From 1898 onwards the Bishop came to be more and 
more interested in liturgies, and acquired in time a pro- 
found knowledge of the technicalities of that department 
of antiquarianism, perhaps with a certain loss as well as 
gain. In 1899 he published his annotated translation 
of Bishop Sarapion's Prayer-book, a collection used by 
an Egyptian Bishop of the fourth century which had just 
been discovered and printed by a German scholar. In 
the same year Mr. Horner published the Coptic rite for 
the consecration of churches from a manuscript given to 
the Bishop by the Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria. This 
edition was made at the prompting of Bishop Words- 
worth. His studies came to have a practical effect 
upon public worship in three respects. The first was in 
regard to the Lord's Prayer, where exegetical considera- 
tions led him to insist upon the reading, " Thy will be 
done, In earth as it is in heaven." He held that the latter 
clause qualified its three predecessors, and that it was 
an error to connect it only with " Thy will be done." 
This interpretation of the prayer is being widely adopted. 
Next, his division of the Te Deum into three paragraphs 
is coming to receive ofiicial recognition. He was entrusted 
with the article on that anthem in Dr. Julian's Dictionary 
of Hymnology, which was published at the end of 1891, 
and while working for it he discovered the structure of 
the poem. He saw in it not only three sections, but a 
double Gloria, and he insisted, and illustrated by his 
own practice, that both (vv. 5, 6, and 11-13) should be 
said or sung, not antiphonally, but by the full choir or 

1 But he usually had a minor canon kneeling with him at the desk 
to support his voice. 


congregation. This was from 1899 onwards. He had 
his difficulties, for musicians, he said, were stubborn, 
but in 1900 he was able, in advising the clergy to accept 
the new arrangement, to tell them that it was in use at 
Early Mattins in the Cathedral. ^ In 1902 the division 
into paragraphs was introduced into the new Accession 
Service for King Edward VII. and is retained in that for 
King George V. 

A more laborious task than that in regard to the 
Te Deum was the revision of the translation of the 
Quicunque vult. The subject came before a Committee 
of the Lambeth Conference of 1908, to which the Bishop 
addressed a memorandum : — 

" I am one of those who not only desire that the Quicunque 
vult should be retained in the Prayer-book, but that it should 
continue to be recited (with some emendations) in the services 
of the Church. As to the days on which it is recited, I am in 
favour : (i) of reducing their number ; (2) of changing their 
date, so as to avoid the festivals of Christmas, Easter, and 
Whitsuntide. I believe that nearly all would agree as to this 
amount of relief to conscientious objectors. 

" I feel, however, that the best solution of the difficulties 
felt in regard to the Quicunque vult is to be found in the braver 
course of amending the English version of the monitory clauses 
in a manner which I shall presently explain, and I should 
desire that this might be done even if the Creed were retained, 
as in the Irish Prayer-book, without any rubric directing its 
recitation. It would be much more useful, as a document 
for instruction of catechumens and others, if the monitory 
clauses were paraphrased so as to bring out their fundamental 
and abiding meaning, that, namely, in which we ourselves now 
accept them, and in which we wish our flocks to accept them. 

" If, indeed, the Committee only wished to give relief in 
the recitation, and shrunk from suggesting a change which 
would require alteration in the text of the Prayer-book by 
Act of Parliament, I would remind it that such relief might 

^ Diocesan Gazette, May, 1900. 


be secured by a very slight alteration in the Act of Uniformity 
Amendment Act of 1872, which could, I imagine, easily be 
passed through Parhament. All that would be needed is an 
extension of leave to use the Shortened Order for Morning 
Prayer (in which the Quicunque vult does not occur) to Sundays 
and the four holy-days hitherto excepted, and to Cathedrals 
as well as to parish churches. ... I do not think there would 
be anything undignified in such a course. The introducer 
of the Bill might easily explain the purport of it, which would 
be received with sympathy in such an assembly as our Parlia- 
ment. . . . 

" But what I should now prefer is the braver course 
of amending the text of the monitory clauses in the way of 
paraphrase of the English Version. The proposed emendations 
are based on the principle that paraphrase sometimes better 
expresses the meaning of a document than a word-for-word 
rendering. They are intended : (i) to declare these valuable 
warnings in a way that would draw and guide, rather than 
seem to force the conscience ; (2) to render the Latin in some 
places more exactly ; (3) to keep more closely to the language 
of Holy Scripture, especially in verse 41." 

The Bishop then gave specimens of emendation, some 
of which appear in the revised version that was subse- 
quently published, and proceeded : — 

'' I am aware that this proposal will be criticised on the 
ground that we have no right to touch an ancient document . 
To this I would reply : — 

" (i) That this document has no such unquestioned 
authority as the ' Apostles' ' or ' Nicene ' Creed. 

" (2) That I do not propose to touch its substance, but to 
restate the meaning of its outer setting in a way which would 
certainly conduce to the acceptance of both setting and sub- 
stance in many quarters where they are now suspected, and 
that without diminishing the value of either. 

" (3) That our Communion has power to do this if it made 
clear by a note that the verses in question are a paraphrase, 
not a verbatim rendering. 

" (4) That a somewhat similar change was made when a 



Creed was introduced into the Liturgy. The Creed chosen 
was either an amended form of the Nicene Creed or a local 
Creed amended by use of the Nicene Creed — ^it is not quite 
certain which. But it is certain that the anathemas of the 
Nicene Creed were not considered a necessary part of the 
Liturgical Creed. 

" (5) That a remarkable change has been made in the text 
of the Te Deum. It seems to me fairly certain that the original 
of verse 16 was that preserved in all the Irish MS. texts, now 
a considerable number : ' Tu ad liberandum mundum sus- 
cepisti hominem : non horruisti virginis uterum.' This was 
changed, apparently to avoid the suspicion of Nestorianism, 
into ' Tu ad liberandum suscepturus hominem,' etc. — ^which 
we render, though it is contrary to Latin idiom, ' When thou 
tookest upon thee to deliver man,' etc. 

" For these and other reasons I trust that the Committee 
will give favourable consideration to these proposals." 

The Committee reported to the Conference, which in 
its 29th resolution requested the Archbishop of Canterbury 
to appoint a Committee " to make a new translation of 
the Quicunque vult based upon the best Latin text." 
The Archbishop appointed six scholars, with the Bishop 
of Salisbury as their chairman,^ to perform the task. 
It was, perhaps, discouraging to be told by the Bishop, 
on a higher authority than his own, that the chief result 
of the work would be to dispel the illusion, discreditable 
to the learning of the English clergy, that a fresh trans- 
lation could render the Creed more acceptable to its 
critics. But the task was accomplished with scrupulous 
care for accuracy, textual, philological, theological, 
and literary ; it was a privilege to be present at 
discussions conducted on so high a level of scholarship. 

1 H. B. Swete, D.D., Regius Professor of Divinity, Cambridge ; 
A. J. Mason, D.D., Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge ; A. F. 
Kirkpatrick, D.D., Dean of Ely ; W. Lock, D.D., Warden of Keble 
College, and Dean Ireland's Professor of Exegesis, Oxford ; C. H. 
Turner, M.A., Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford ; E. W. Watson. 


The new translation — it was a translation, and not, as 
the Bishop had proposed, a paraphrase — was published 
by the S.P.C.K. in the course of i88g, and if it has received 
no official sanction, it has at least put to silence the 
thoughtless clamour to which, in some measure, it owed 
its origin. 

The Bishop's general view of Prayer-book revision 
at the end of his life was given to a friend ^ : — 

" I don't think you need be worried about revision. I 
think whatever changes are made will be for the better, but 
they will, I think, certainly be few. I don't suppose we shall 
get much further with the Ornaments Rubric. It may be 
that some compromise will be arrived at, tolerating existing 
varieties, and requiring certain conditions and circumstances 
for further changes. But I do not see how that can be ex- 
pressed in a rubric. Some general resolution of the Convoca- 
tions which would guide Bishops in administering the practice 
of the Church might suffice, if it were fairly unanimous." 

In regard to public worship, the Bishop never gave 
clearer expression to his views than in his New Year's 
Letter to the diocese for 1899, written just after the subject 
had become in his eyes a pressing one. He is speaking 
of the importance of simplicity, with reference to such 
giving as he deemed " a form of religious selfishness "— 

" giving to what suits our own convenience or promotes our 
own ends, and especially indulging our taste or our pride — 
local or artistic— and neglecting more pressing needs. We are 
all familiar with the arguments drawn from the magnificence 
of the Temple and the splendid waste of the ointment of spike- 
nard. But each was expended on a unique centre — on the 
Temple which was a type of the one Lord and on the Lord 
Himself. Each diocese may claim to have a magnificent 
Cathedral, and no one would grudge expense on the ancient 
shrines of Sherborne, Wimborne, Milton Abbey, Edingdon, 

1 The Rev. G. F. Hooper, 2nd April, 191 1. 


and Malmesbury. But I do not see why every parish church 
should be magnificent. The synagogues in which our Lord 
preached so much were, I suppose, humble buildings. If 
we wish to spend lavishly on Him we must spend it in the 
education of children, the care for the sick, poor, and aged, 
in improving our workhouse chapels, our hospitals, and our 
prisons, and in a wise generosity to foreign missions and mis- 
sionaries. Our Lord gives us a special Beatitude for these 
latter days : ' Blessed are they that have not seen and yet have 
believed.' But He has told us also how to see Him even in 
absence. We do not perceive His presence or see His face 
so clearly in organs, painted windows, bells, reredoses, etc., etc., 
as in the children whom we train to be good and strong or 
save from misery and vice, the poor, the sick, the unhappy, 
the ignorant, the heathen from darkness to light — whose very 
faces may become like those of angels instead of blank and 

Similarly, a little earlier, in a published letter to the 
laity 1 :— 

"It is the duty of Englishmen to respect the best cha- 
racteristics of Englishmen, such as unpretentious simplicity, 
self-reliance coupled with respect for order, and reserve in 
expressing emotion. It is no small fault either in clergy or 
laity to irritate such feelings by artificiality, exaggeration, 
or affectation, by sudden or obtrusive gestures and postures, by 
seeming in any way to despise or make light of the Prayer-book. 
Respect one another and respect the Prayer-book, both in 
what it teaches directly and in its reserved and sober spirit." 

And again ^ :— 

" The principle of continuity, of keeping to what we have 
received from our forefathers, and so going on from strength 
to strength, is of essential value in Christian worship ; and 
nothing of mere beauty, or dramatic effectiveness, or impres- 
siveness of symbolic teaching, will make up for the breach of 

1 4th July, 1898. 

* Sermon in the Cathedral, Easter Day, 1898. 


unity in a congregation caused by the intrusion of personal 
or popular taste and sentiment into the region of devotion." 

The decision of the two Archbishops in 1899 on 
Incense and Processional Lights led the Bishop to issue 
a letter to clergy and laity in which he pleaded for diocesan 
unity and said that he expected universal obedience. 
Two of the clergy affected had loyally accepted the 
decision — 

" perhaps there may be two or three others to whom it 
definitely applies. But if there are more, let them not hesitate, 
but remember the adage, Bis dot qui cito dot. Acceptance 
of an unwelcome position gains greatly in force by being 

The result was less than he had hoped, but as the 
weary controversy went on the loyalty of the diocese 
became ever heartier, and at the Synod in the spring of 
1903 an impressive vote of confidence in the Bishop's 
treatment of ritual troubles was passed. Meanwhile, 
the horizon was darkened by the storm which led to the 
appointment of the Ecclesiastical Discipline Commission 
of 1904, in the proceedings of which exaggerated accounts 
were given of services in the Salisbury diocese and false 
assertions made that the Bishop's sanction was extended 
to them. He was concerned only for the good fame of 
his diocese ; for attacks on himself he had no need to 
care. He was emphatic in his defence of the loyalty of 
the clergy and vigorous in his effort to remove causes 
of offence. In a public letter to the clergy and church- 
wardens of the 28th November in that year he went 
over the ground, giving not only directions but reasons ; 
and in 1904 he also published a pamphlet in which he 
argued learnedly against the title " Queen of Heaven " 
for the Blessed Virgin, showing inter alia that it is false 


heraldry and contrary to medieval precedent for her 
to be depicted with a crown in the arms of his see. 

After long consideration he issued directions to the 
clergy on the conduct of public worship at the beginning 
of 1905, and at the same time asked them for an assurance 
that they would obey him : — 

" With regard to the subject as a whole, I should wish 
you to understand my reasons for issuing these directions and 
for asking for this assurance. I desire to show in the first 
place that the clergy of this diocese, some of whom have been 
rather roughly attacked, are a loyal and united body, and 
worthy of public confidence. If this confidence is not earned 
by voluntary submission to episcopal authority in this and 
other dioceses, two things will almost certainly follow : 
(i) A violent agitation will be stirred up in Parliament, wasting 
an immense amount of time and temper and strength, and 
ending, it may be, in violent legislation ; (2) The position of 
the clergy as teachers of the young, especially in the day schools, 
will be most injuriously affected. It is notorious that the 
introduction of the Kenyon-Slaney clause into the Education 
Act of 1902 was due to the conduct of a few clergy who had 
misused their opportunities as teachers ; and there are evident 
signs of the likelihood of an agitation, similar to that which 
you will then remember, being revived on account of two of 
the points touched in my directions, viz. undue pressure put 
upon children to ' attend ' the communion service as non- 
communicants, and the distribution among them, in church 
or in school or elsewhere, of manuals of a particular type and 
colour. I plead with those who may have adopted practices 
of this sort, I doubt not in good faith, but without the experi- 
ence which we now have, to change their methods for the sake 
of the general good of Christ's Church and people in this land. 

" My second reason for issuing these directions is the wish 
to make the services, in our different parishes, so homogeneous 
and harmonious as to render it easy for worshippers to pass 
from one church to another without discomfort and without 
excuse for absenting themselves from the house of God. 
To hear it said : ' I went into such and such a church and I 


hardly knew where I was or what was going on ' is a very 
painful experience. Yet it is, I am sorry to say, not an 
unknown one. 

" My third reason is the wish to establish such a simple, 
beautiful, reverent, English type of worship as may conciliate 
general love to the Church, and by the force of good example 
draw into line those who are negligent or slovenly in ritual, 
and may tend to take away the excuse that is now made by 
some of them : ' I do not wish to be Hke so-and-so. He is 
clearly going too fast and too far, and I should be sorry to 
be in any way identified with him.' I wish, therefore, by no 
means to justify bareness or coldness or carelessness, but that 
all things should be done ' decently and in order ' by all our 

" Will you, then, dear Brother in Christ, aid me in this 
effort ? Surely it is worthy of a Christian Bishop and of 
Christian Priests, I know that to do so may involve you in 
some sacrifice, perhaps in regard to practices to which you 
attach importance. I know, too, that it may require you to 
teach a certain amount of self-denial to some of your people. 
But what is good for you is good also for them ; and your 
teaching will, I trust, have already prepared them to defer, 
on proper occasions, to a living authority superior to your 

As to his own practice, the Bishop was deeply impressed 
with the duty of his order to preserve the equilibrium 
of the Church, and to set the example of a worship that 
should be generally acceptable. For a Bishop to be a 
partisan in practice was in his eyes equivalent to his being 
an adherent of one of those private Church Societies 
which he so heartily distrusted. Some notes which the 
Bishop made in 1891 concerning his own usages may, 
perhaps, be of more interest in the future than they are 
to-day. They may be prefaced by words of his own, 
which show his temper in regard to these matters : — 

" I find that A. has introduced vestments into B. chapel 
without my knowledge, which rather vexes me. I so hate to 


have divisions between one church and another, and the love 
of vestments makes people often discontented when they 
can't have them. Personally, I don't care one way or the other 
whether people use them, but I do care for unity." 

His description of his own practice is : — 

" As I have drifted into the subject of ritual, I may as 
well say that my own practice has been as far as possible 
everywhere uniform. My father had been accustomed for a 
number of years always to wear the cope in 'celebrating at 
the Cathedral (though never, as far as I remember, elsewhere). 
I should naturally have followed his example, and for this 
purpose recovered the white cope, of easy folding stuff, which 
he much preferred for convenience to the stiff red velvet one 
with its more elaborate ornaments. I recovered it, I say, 
from Bishop King, of Lincoln, to whom I had given it when 
he was made Bishop. A Mrs. Walrond also gave me a beauti- 
ful white satin or brocaded silk one on the occasion of my 
first confirmation at Parkstone in 1885. But I have never 
worn either pubHcly, finding from Archdeacon Sanctuary 
that it would create a sort of schism in the Chapter, and this I 
found would be the case when I put the matter, as one of 
obedience to a definite rule of the Canons of 1603, to the Dean 
and Chapter at the Cathedral visitation in 1888. I asked them 
to join me, and found that some at least would not do so, and 
so I thought it better to drop it. In 1893 I began to wear 
a white poplin chimere given me by Mrs. Stilwell, which reached 
me at Bromham and was first worn at the confirmation there. 
On the other hand, I have generally taken the light pastoral 
staff, my father's ebony and silver gilt one given him by the 
Rev. Fred. Sutton, of Brent Broughton, with ivory figures 
in its head of our Lord giving the charge to St. Peter, ^ to 
all public gatherings outside the Cathedral, especially to 
Confirmations and Consecrations of churches and churchyards, 
church openings, and the like. In the Cathedral I of course 
use a pastoral staff at Ordinations and on days when there is 
a processional hymn, using in this case the large silver rococo 
one given by Mr. Hubbard to the Bishops from the treasures 

1 This staff was buried with the Bishop. 


collected by William Sewell at Radley.i It is, I believe, of 
Flemish or Spanish workmanship. The oak and brass staff 
by my seat in chapel here is an ornament from the chapel at 
Riseholme, which always stood by my father's seat there after 
he did up the room. The only person who has asked me not 
to take the pastoral staff is Mr. X. of Y. These things are 
trifles, but such as interest us when we come across them in 
the history of the past. I have always worn a silver cross, 
generally one given me by the four Johnsons 2 (Ebbie, Amy, 
Carry, and Janet), with the two mottoes of my father and 
Bishop Smyth, founder of B.N.C.^ On Saints Days in the 
Cathedral I generally wear the scarlet Convocation robes, and 
also in the octaves of the great festivals and on the choral 
festivals, on Synod days, Chapter Meetings, etc. 

" I have always taken the ' Eastward position ' since I 
became Canon of Rochester in 1883, standing at the north 
part of the west side at the beginning of the office and at the 
centre for the Creed and onwards. I have only once heard 
this objected to, and that not directly to myself. ... Up 
till the Archbishop's judgment, 21st November, 1890, I 
accepted the mixed chalice, just as it was (or was not) brought 
to me, or rather I should say up till the beginning of the case 
of Read versus the Bishop of Lincoln in his court, which was 
a good deal earlier. During the trial I took care not to 
prejudice the matter by my own action, and since the judg- 
ment I have directed the cup to be mixed beforehand. But 
I do not see my way yet to forbid what is a reasonable 
method of unceremonial mixture, much more convenient 
than previous mixture, viz, the putting water in the cup 

" I have not had much occasion to discuss the question of 
Lights, but I remember giving directions to Mr. B. to use them 
only at the early celebration at A. and that in the darker 
months of the year ; from Michaelmas, it may have been, till 

1 On the 27th October, 1909, Canon Charles Myers presented 
another, and a very beautiful, staff to be used by the Bishops of Salisbury 
within the Cathedral. 

2 Daughters of Manuel Johnson, the Radcliffe observer and friend 
of Newman. 

' Veritas in caritate and Delectare in Domino. 


Easter. This was, of course, long before the Archbishop's 
judgment in Read v. the Bishop of Lincoln. 

" 29th July, 1893. Since this was written the Archbishop's 
judgment has been confirmed in all points, absolutely in four 
out of five ; but as regards the Lights on a ground differing 
somewhat from that which he laid down. My own opinion 
on these points will be found in the Preface to the second 
edition of my Holy Communion, Four Visitation Addresses, 

In that work, which reached its third edition in 1910, 
will be found the best exposition of the Bishop's views 
on the Eucharist. But a little may be added : " The 
value of the Sacraments to those who use them depends 
on the reality of the prayers. Sacraments are prayers 
with illustrations." So he said in a sermon. ^ And 
writing to a friend ^ :— 

" The more I read about the Eucharistic controversy the 
less I wish to discuss it, except to bid people keep silence. 
It seems to me that the terms ' virtue and efficacy,' ' effect 
and power,' mean very much what transubstantiation, rightly 
interpreted and freed from its scholastic dress, was intended 
to mean, viz. that the identity of the Body and Blood of Christ 
with the elements was mysterious and spiritual. But most 
people take these words by the wrong handle, i.e. the one which 
turns them into a whip or goad for an adversary. Of course 
the practical identification for the purposes of extra-sacra- 
mental adoration is what prudent people are afraid of. 

" There is also a failure to recollect the doubleness of the 
mystery— that it consists of the Blood of Christ as well as the 
Body. This Bishop Westcott has brought out lately in con- 
versation. Our Lord would not, I think, have divided the 
mystery if He had intended the ' Body ' alone to represent 
His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity as Romanists say. The 
division into Body and Blood implies a certain restriction of 

1 Diocesan Gazette, 1903, p. 75. 

2 The Rev. G. F. Hooper, 22nd August, 1900. 


the identification of either part with Himself. That is to say, 
we must consider each part as having a special meaning, as, 
e.g., I have tried to do in the Sarum Guild Manual. 

" My motto is, in the words of Bishop Beveridge, ' How 
can I see my Saviour Christ coming to me and offering me His 
Body and His Blood, and not fall ^own and worship Him ? ' 
Christ in the Sacrament is greater than either part of the Sacra- 
ment, and is the true object of worship, just as the Priest is 
greater than the victim, the Master of the House than the feast 
He makes." 

And again ^ : — 

" Forbes and Cheyne taught that ' supreme adoration was 
to be paid to Christ's presence in the gifts ' ; if not, you were 
a Nestorian or a rationalist or something very bad ; and that 
the Sacrifice of the Eucharist is identical with the Sacrifice 
of the Cross. My solution is that : (i) Eucharistic adoration 
is mainly and properly due to the Father through the Son ; and 
{2) that to give supreme adoration in such a service to one 
Person of the Trinity, at a special moment, is distracting to 
proportion of faith, and in any case it is to Christ as Priest 
rather than as Victim that we ought to look ; to Him as 
Giver more than to the gifts. (3) As to the Sacrifice it is a 
repetition of that of the Upper Room, not of that of the 

It was inevitable that the Bishop should be involved 
in controversy on Eucharistic subjects with some of the 
clergy. Concerning one such debate he writes 2 : — 

" I have had a good deal of correspondence with X. on 
Eucharistic doctrine. My last position to him was as foUows : 
Is it not sounder to interpret together our Lord's two great 
sayings, ' Where two or three . . . there am I in the midst 
of them,' and ' Take, eat, this is My body which is for you,' 
rather than so to press the second as to make the pr-esence of 
which it speaks practically imply a previous absence of our 

1 To Bishop V^allis, of Wellington, N.Z., 15th July, 1896. 

2 To his brother, 3rd October, 1898. 


Lord, even though the condition laid down in the first saying 
has been for a long time abundantly fulfilled ? And again, 
if you come to the comparison of the two, ' There am I ' is 
a stronger promise as to the presence of our Lord's ' soul and 
divinity ' than ' This is My body.' 

" I cannot see how any reasonable man can allow such 
language to be taught to children or adults in Eucharistic 
manuals as ' Jesus is coming ' just before the consecration, 
and then ' Jesus is come ' at or after it, in cases where neither 
Body nor Blood is sacramentally to be used by them, but 
only adored ab extra. Why should our Lord say ' which is 
for you ' or speak of the ' covenant,' if the Sacrament was to 
be treated as a mode of His presence in itself, outside its use ? 
Christ comes, indeed, in a special sense to communicants, but 
not, I think, to onlookers any more than to others in public 

" I am very much afraid that with his undoubted power X. 
is likely to be a dangerous influence (unless restrained by 
having such considerations as these brought home to him) 
on eome minds. Clearness and precision are very attractive, 
but in mysteries of this kind certainly lead to false, because 
incomplete, conclusions. I know he feels something of the 
truth of. what I say, but I do not think he has grasped it 
thoroughly, or is willing to sacrifice the convenience of Roman 
formulae for the purpose of teaching. I hope I am mistaken." 

An example or two of his treatment of points in con- 
nection with the Eucharist may be given. The first shall 
be in regard to what he called the " pious and reverent 
custom " of fasting communion, which was being treated 
as obligatory by some of the clergy. A certain grim 
humour appears in his treatment.^ 

" The only passage in the Bible that seems to bear upon 
it is Leviticus x. i-ii, where the priests are taught, by the 
terrible fate of Nadab and Abihu, not to drink wine or strong 
drink before their public ministry. This was, it may be 
alleged, a good reason against communion after breakfast, 

^ Diocesan Gazette, 1898, p. 184. 


when breakfast included wine or strong drink, as it did in the 
first ages of Christianity and up to the seventeenth century. 
But, now that our breakfasts are what they are, this text, 
at any rate, does not apply to communions in the morning 
hours, except as a general caution to reverence." 

In regard to reservation of the Holy Communion, a 
practice which he would sanction only within narrow 
limits, the Bishop met with persistent opposition from 
certain of the clergy. He stated his belief and policy 
to Bishop Wallis ^ : — 

" There are certain clergy . . . who give me a good deal 
of anxiety. They have got their people to value a ' mass ' 
at II o'clock and have made it a popular service, at which few 
or none communicate, and when I tell them they ought to 
have it at g, they say they can't get the people then. I believe 
they could. I shall not desist from insisting on the rule about 
three communicants. I am afraid my predecessor did. 

" As to reservation, I think there is a considerable practical 
difference between taking the sacrament straight to absent 
members of the congregation who have been following the 
service in their rooms, and local reservation. There are three 
dangers in the latter : (i) profaneness or superstition ; 
(2) raising bitter controversy ; (3) deprivation of the sick 
of their certain right to a celebration (if they have two fellow- 
communicants). If my men are obstinate I shall issue a 
formal order to them which will be entered in the registry of 
the diocese, and a copy sent to the churchwardens." 

A little earlier he had written to one of the clergy 
in question as follows : — 

" I regret to receive your letter, which is practically a 
request that I will permit you to do what you know is, in my 
opinion, contrary to the law of the Church of England. I am 
bound to make this law respected in every parish of the diocese, 
and I cannot divest myself of this responsibility in the sight 

^ i6th May, 1901. 


of God by any tenderness to individuals. You hold, I under- 
stand, a different opinion from myself in this matter, but that 
again does not relieve me from the responsibility. 

" I have therefore to ask you once again as a Priest of the 
diocese who has taken the oath of canonical obedience to myself, 
to obey what I hold to be a ' legal and honest command,' viz. 
to desist from the practice of reservation of the Blessed Sacra- 
ment in the church of or elsewhere, and to promise me 

that you will not renew the practice so long as you minister 
in this diocese. 

" I much regret to have to put my direction in this formal 
way, but no other course is open to me." 

A minor point on which he laid frequent stress was 
the inappropriateness of the service of boys at the altar. 
One example, out of many, of his treatment of this subject 
is given here : — 

" In regard to the practice pf employing boy-servers, I 
think it is dangerous as being the use of the wrong instruments 
for a great work. The servants of the sanctuary should be 
men, not younger usually than eighteen years of age, who have 
some sense of the responsibilities of life, and who can be 
naturally regarded by the congregation as their representatives, 
as far as the work they do may be fitly done by those not in 
Holy Orders. What those duties should be has never been 
defined in the Church of England, and it is desirable that they 
should be made clearer. In the mean time, such duties as 
belong to the churchwardens and sidesmen, either by law or 
custom, which on any occasion they cannot discharge in person, 
should be done by persons of sufficiently mature age to be 
fairly considered their deputies. When these duties are done 
by children the sacred mysteries are apt to be despised, espe- 
cially if there are no men at all in the congregation, and the 
difficulty of bringing men to Holy Communion is increased. 
This is one of the ' moral reasons ' which constitute to my mind 
the danger of the practice. 

" Then there is the danger to the clergy themselves of 
relying on such instruments as come easily to their hand, and 
being satisfied with an insufficient hold upon men. Sometimes 


this is accompanied by an indiscreet favouritism which creates 
jealousy in other boys and injures the influence of the clergy 

" But the chief danger is to the boys themselves, that of 
over-familiarity with holy things and premature advancement 
to spiritual privileges. This may result, as you know, in an 
overweening confidence in the Tightness of certain details of 
ceremonial and the wrongness of others, and an undervaluing 
of the unseen meaning of the Sacrament consequent on an 
overvaluing of its outward expression. It may also lead to 
contempt and scepticism, and to a feeling of having used up 
all the treasures of the Church." 

His reasons were given in one instance to the Arch- 
deacon of Dorset ^ : — 

" As regards the age of ' servers,' if they do the duty of 
Acolytes it should not be less than that of Acolytes. This 
has varied, and I shall mention the variations, and probably 
fix on 17-18 years as with us the accessus adolescentiae. 
Some put it as low as 14, others as high as 20. National 
feehng and custom and racial pecuharities make it variable, 
but a young fellow may plausibly be said to be fit to represent 
the Church when he is about 18 years of age. 

" I have some other things to say on other points, but this 
is the one that has caused most excitement. It is curious how 
habitually careless people are — I cannot help thinking almost 
intentionally (as otherwise they would not be able to exercise 
their gifts of indignation) — in reading formal documents. 
They approach a letter written by a Bishop with the hope of 
finding in it something to make them angry, and snatch at 
the first chance. It is an unfortunate temper caused, I greatly 
beheve, by the loose writing of certain * Church ' newspapers." 

On another practice of people of the same school of 
thought, the use of incense, he addressed a long letter 
to a clergyman of the Province of York, who certainly 
had no claim upon him. It was characteristic of the 

1 20th December,''i904. 


Bishop that he would, with the utmost care and patience, 
meet the questions or difficulties of those who wrote 
to him for their own instruction. He covered many 
pages, for instance, with replies to the Baptist Pastor 
in an obscure village, to whom he cited Justin Martyr, 
Irenaeus, Origen, and the Pilgrim's Progress. A personal 
appeal always met a courteous response ; but he was 
infallible in detecting the attempts of those who attempted 
to inveigle him into a public correspondence for the 
advertisement of their cause or themselves. The gentle- 
man who wrote to Bishop Wordsworth about incense 
did so in protest against a published statement of the 
Bishop's that — 

" the obligation of custom is, strictly speaking, of much less 
stringency than that of doctrine, and National Churches have 
the right to their customs where they do not interfere with the 
Catholic faith or the fundamental institutions of the Church." 

To this the correspondent retorted that he considered 
himself bound to use incense as a Catholic custom, in 
spite of his Diocesan's objection. He gave his reasons 
and asked the Bishop to discuss the case. The reply 
was : — 

" Before I touch your special reasons, I would point out 
that no individual incumbent can be obliged in conscience 
to use incense, however much he may consider it to be a 
laudable custom, because in a great part of the Western Church 
to this day there is no such use in far the largest number of 
Eucharistic celebrations. See on this point Dr. Krieg's 
article, Weihrauch, p. 971, in Kraus' Real-encyclopddie der 
Christl. Alterthiimer, 1886. The Latin Church has shown 
itself singularly indifferent in the matter. There is nothing, 
e.g., in the Council of Trent to assert the necessity of the use, 
although incidentally ' thymiamata ' are mentioned as exterior 
helps to worship instituted by the Church. The anathema 
appended only touches those who coarsely malign such 


ceremonies. (Sess. xxii., de sacrificio missae, cap. v. and 
canon vii.) As regards pre-Reformation use in this country, 
the figures given by Mr. St. John Hope in the Case for Incense, 
1899, show that in 1552 censers are noted as existing in 27 per 
cent, only of the churches of twelve counties. A clergyman, 
therefore, who, from whatever cause, does not use incense is 
only doing what presumably three-fourths of his predecessors 
were doing before the middle of the sixteenth century. He 
may hold, as much as he pleases, that it is a laudable custom, 
but he is not in conscience bound to adopt it. 

"As regards the Greek Church, there is, I believe, an 
universal custom ; but no dogmatic teaching in the Councils, 
except in reference to a use of incense, which I trust you would 
yourself not feel bound to. This is to be found in the Acts 
of the Seventh General Council, a.d. 787 (Labbe, Concilia, 
vii., p. 555)> which describes the reverence due to images as 
(partly) consisting of burning incense and lights before them 
after the same manner as they are burnt before the Cross and 
the Gospels. 

" The positive arguments that you use are intended, I 
presume, simply to prove that the use of incense is a laudable 
custom permissible to yourself in the exercise of your liberty 
as a Priest in the Church of England. . . . These arguments 
appear to be three : (i) drawn from a parenthesis in the 
Preface to the Prayer-book of 1662 ; (2) one from the Orna- 
ments Rubric ; (3) one from its value as a help towards 

" As regards (i) I would point out that the parenthesis 
in question, ' as secretly striking at some established doctrine 
or laudable practice of the Church of England, or indeed of the 
whole Catholic Church of Christ,' is a historical reference 
to what happened at the Savoy Conference in 1661. The 
reference is to the Puritan objections to the Prayer-book, 
and especially, I presume, to the ' exceptions ' against the 
Book of Common Prayer printed by Cardwell, Conferences, 
pp. 303-335. The ' laudable practices ' would be such obser- 
vances as those of Lent and Saints' Days, which are discussed 
in the ' exceptions,' p. 306, and in the Bishops' Answer, pp. 
339-341. There is nothing whatever to show that the framers 
of the Prayer-book of 1662 felt themselves bound to uphold 



any practices which were not those of the Church of England, 
as practices which men were bound to follow. Their language, 
at the most, impHes that they would have resented harsh 
censure of them. Most Churchmen would feel aggrieved if 
any modern Puritan denounced the foreign use of incense as 
impious ; but few could think it necessary unless it were 
prescribed by the Church of which they were more particularly 

" (2) As regards the Ornaments Rubric, I have myself 
no doubt that as the words are drawn from an Act of Parha- 
ment (2 Eliz. c. 2, sec. 13) where the words are, as you know, 
' retained and be in use,' not ' used,' as in some inexact reprints, 
they are to be interpreted as they would be in an Act of Parlia- 
ment. The reference is clearly to the First Prayer-book of 
Edward VI., which alone provides a standard by which an 
offender could reasonably submit to be judged. The supposed 
reference to a transitory state of the law, covered by the Com - 
munion Order of 1548, which must even in 1558-9 have been 
laboriously recovered by experts, and much more so in 1662, 
is to me inconceivable. I pass over the well-known arguments 
about the method of citation of Acts of Parliament by the 
year when the bill was introduced, and other like considerations 
which to me are perfectly satisfactory. If you reply that they 
are not satisfactory to antiquaries and experts, I can only say 
that not they but lawyers are the proper interpreters of what 
the words of an Act of Parliament mean. But supposing the 
antiquaries to be right, they could only prove that incense 
might be used, not that it must be used. My object in this 
letter is not to prove that you are breaking the law, but that 
you are not bound to disobey your Bishop. 

" (3) The value of the use as a help to unity with foreign 
churches under present conditions is highly problematical ; 
its value for promoting unity at home is clearly nil. It is 
destructive of unity. Intelligent members of the Greek Church 
have spoken strongly to me of the disobedience of certain of 
our clergy as lowering the Church of England in their eyes, 
even though they are promoting a custom which might be a 
link of outward approach to Greek usage. 

" I will not repeat what I have already said as to the 
value of a variety of custom when the faith remains one. 


You, I gather, do not agree on this point with St. Irenaeus 
and St. Gregory the Great. 

" I have written this letter rather hurriedly, but I would 
beg you to consider it not as controversial, but as a brotherly 
attempt to help to reconcile an earnest fellow-worker to the 
system of the Church of which he is a minister. ' Blessed are 
the peace-makers,' but their task is hard." 

The practice of Invocation of Saints and Angels was 
one which the Bishop discouraged to the utmost. His 
efforts against it began in 1898, but he did not enter 
upon the literary controversy till 1907, when he con- 
tributed an introduction to the learned Doctrina 
Romanensium 1 of the Rev. H. F. Stewart, which had 
been written at his instigation. In the next year he pub- 
lished his own Invocation of Saints and the Twenty-second 
Article.^ A certain amount of criticism was directed 
against his work by advocates of the medieval practice, 
but he was quite unconvinced. When the author of 
a would-be refutation of his paper sent him, in 1908, 
the proof-sheets of his reply, the Bishop answered 
thus : — 

" I do not think you would be the gainer argumentatively 
by publishing this tract, and I deprecate your doing so for 
your own sake. My experience is larger than yours, and I 
know better than you do the suffering you might have to bear 
if you put yourself forward before all the world as an obstinate 
opponent of your Bishop's authority in such a matter. My 
care for your reputation and happiness and consequent useful- 
ness to the Church is a very real one. As regards the results 
of the doctrine and practice of Invocation, I judge by the 
broad facts which are matter of common observation and 
historical experience. You judge by a somewhat narrow 

^ Doctrina Romanensium, being a brief inquiry into the principles 
that underlie the practice of the Invocation of Saints. London, 
S.P.C.K., 1907. 

2 S.P.C.K., 1908; second edition, with a new preface, 1910. 


circle of cases where the doctrine and practice have been 
guardedly admitted in the view of the criticism to which they 
have been exposed. You even suggest that those ' who 
denounce Invocation ' are guilty of heresy. I cannot permit 
this liberty to you, and I believe that this teaching is erroneous 
and that it is disloyal to your Mother Church of England for 
you to give it. I am bound to check you in fulfilment of 
my own vows. I must ask you in all brotherly charity to 
believe that I have conscientious convictions as well as 
yourself and that I am in no degree actuated by personal 

He admits, in another letter to the same, that — 

" such teaching is given both in the Greek and Latin Churches, 
but I hold that, in both these communions, experience shows 
that the result is injurious. The instinct of prayer and devo- 
tion is largely diverted from the Creator to the creature, and 
the glory of Christ, the one Mediator, is obscured by the dis- 
tinction that is drawn between mediators of intercession and 
the Mediator of redemption. I recollect, of course, what is 
said by yourself and others in reply ; but (as you know) 
I do not accept these replies and distinctions as of practical 
value, particularly in the case of unlettered persons." 

To the same : — 

"I think ' Comprecation ' undesirable on two grounds: 
(i) it has been excluded by our Church from the liturgy and 
collects ; (2) it is, historically and naturally, the first step 
towards direct Invocation. At the same time I have always 
said that Article XXII. is aimed at direct Invocation, and I 
am aware that the objections to direct Invocation do not all 
apply to Comprecation." 

To the same : — 

" You heard what I said in Synod in regard to any one of 
our clergy whom I know to be teaching the practice of Invo- 
cation, viz. that I shall let the parishioners know my dis- 
approval of such teaching. Before taking the necessary 
steps in your case I think it right to give you an opportrmity 


of voluntarily submitting to my direction to cease from such 

A little later the Bishop has somewhat modified his 
plan. He writes to another correspondent : — 

" I should have to write two letters, one to the church- 
wardens and one to the school managers, since the priest in 
question teaches it both from the pulpit (as I understand) 
and in school. I am not contemplating a prosecution." 

He had, in fact, defined the doctrine to the clergyman 
implicated as "plainly erroneous and unwise, though not 

It was unhappily unavoidable that time should be 
spent on such controversies. The clergy opposed to the 
Bishop were very few in number, their parishes were 
unimportant, and it would be flattery to say that, apart 
from their occupation of parishes, they were important 
themselves. But they were persistent ; they refused to 
reason with him as divines with divine, or as priests with 
their Diocesan. In obedience to some occult authority 
they were disobedient to him. Two days before his 
death, on the 14th August, 1911, he wrote a long letter, 
which would occupy some three pages of this book, 
going patiently over the familiar arguments on behalf of 
reason and loyalty, to a clergyman who had long taxed 
his endurance.^ It is pitiful that such patience and such 
knowledge should have been expended on topics and 
occasions so inadequate. 

But he felt it to be his duty, however small the prospect 

1 The subjects were : " Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament 
over the altar with a light burning before it ; the use of processional 
lights ; the cultus of a sacred picture or pictures by placing lights and 
flowers before them, and, in the case of one of your staff, doing reverence 
to them, — I am glad to hear that you have forbidden this action on 
his part, and I therefore need give no further directions about this detail ; 
the censing of persons and things in Holy Communion." 


of success, to continue his protests. When his struggle 
had already lasted for some years, he wrote to the Arch- 
deacon of Dorset ^ : — 

" It seems to me that it is only by action of this kind that 
one can obtain the right to interfere (as I may probably have 
to do in Parliament or elsewhere) to defend the liberty of the 
Church to regulate its own affairs. If Bishops do nothing 
to check manifest irregularities — and in my opinion all intru- 
sions of ceremonies, however highly authorised elsewhere, into 
the Prayer-book service are irregular — Parliament may well 
say, ' You are unfit for your office ; we wiU lay down how 
you must act.' . . . The difficulty of united action among the 
Bishops is a real one. I fear that any pronouncements made 
by a Bishops' Meeting at Lambeth would be at once fiercely 
attacked as irregular ; and you know what uphill work it is to 
get the Representative Church Council to do anything which 
requires deliberation. I hope to get some of my brethren to 
work with me, and I have had some encouraging letters from 
them. ... I think some action might possibly be taken by 
the Bishops of the Province in Convocation, who after all 
are most directly concerned." 

He was convinced that the English Church has its 
own witness to bear. He worked steadily to " level up " 
the conduct of services ; but he had no tolerance for an 
undignified and thoughtless imitation of another com- 
munion. He could give strong expression to his feelings. 
Speaking of the Liverpool Church Congress, in which he 
had just taken part, he writes ^ : — 

" We had last night an excellent meeting on the training 
of candidates for Holy Orders, where I presided and had to 
keep order while J. A. Kensit fulminated against theological 
colleges. It is a pity that that side should not be better 
represented. For there is a real Romanising spirit which 
hardly conceals its Roman tendency. I have just examined 

1 5th January, 1905. 

« To Bishop Wallis, 8th October, 1904. 


a man for institution who claims liberty not only to use but to 
recommend the ' Hail Mary ' as a private devotion. This 
consists, as you probably know — though I confess I have only 
lately definitely ascertained it — ^not only of words of Scripture, 
but ends, ' Holy Mother of God, pray for us now and at the hour 
of our death.' I shall probably reject him (unless he gives 
in) and run the risk of an action which I do not think he would 
win. I think I sent you my paper on * The Queen of Heaven,' 
also caused by a practical experience." 

And on a cognate topic, ^ the symbolism of vows as 
constituting a marriage : — 

" I shall probably have publicly to fight against it. It 
presses the old (but unscriptural) metaphor of the bride of 
Christ, applying what belongs to the whole Church to an 
individual woman in a most misleading manner, so as to 
make any lapse into marriage after leaving a sisterhood an 
adultery. Such cases, no doubt, are very rare, but antiquity 
met them, when the metaphor was used, by raising the age 
of profession or by giving the Bishops power to remit penance, 
i.e. practically by giving them a dispensing power. You 
will see what I say on this when you get my fifth chapter 2 
on the ministry of women. 

" I am afraid that hitherto Bishops have been weak about 
it — perhaps not having studied the subject — and have generally 
gone on the line that, having to do with women, you must 
admit a good deal of unreal sentimentality. This seems to 
me injurious to the women themselves. It reminds me of 
the discussion in the Talmud whether women should lay 
hands on the sacrifices. It was decided that it made no 
difference whether they did or not, but it was admissible, 
' to soothe the spirit of the women,' if I recollect the 
Hebrew rightly." 

This chapter may end with a subject which has been 
of late forced into some prominence. In reply to the 

* To the same. Undated, but in 1901. 

* Of the Ministry 0/ Grace. 


Bishop of London, who had consulted him on the unction 
of the sick, he wrote i : — 

" If any encouragement is to be given, either by general 
or diocesan authority, to the revival of this practice, we ought 
to avoid, not merely the limitations of the Roman rite of 
extreme unction, but (i) any appearance of locally and per- 
manently transferring Divine power and presence into the 
creatura olei ; (2) the consequent requirement that the Bishop 
should be a sort of spiritual apothecary, keeping a store of 
unguents of divers kinds. The oil should be blessed in the 
immediate presence of the sick person for whom it is intended, 
and by the Bishop or Presbyter performing the rite, and, 
in fact, in the prayer in which he prays for the sick man's 
recovery. This would follow the wise method of our Liturgical 
prayer of consecration ' that we receiving these thy creatures 
of bread and wine . . . may be partakers,' etc. There seems 
no sufficient precedent or reason for restricting the benediction 
to a Bishop, and, in the Roman Church, the Benedictio olei 
simplicis, to be used where there is hope of recovery and not 
as an extreme unction, is permitted to be said by a Presbyter. 

" No doubt our Prayer-book is defective in this point, that 
it contains no strong and definite prayer for recovery from 
sickness, even that in the Communion of the Sick being some- 
what wanting in force. Personally I am in favour of using 
such a strong prayer, with laying on of hands, and I constantly 
do it . But I understand how strongly this Scriptural precedent 
appeals to many, and I can conceive that it may be right to 
give it further weight and to concede more to it than we 
have done. If, therefore, such a rite be anywhere and anyhow 
introduced, I recommend that it should be very simple, and 
consist perhaps of Psalm 23 and a short lesson from St. James 
and such a prayer as the following : — 

" ' O Lord God Almighty, Maker of all good creatures and 
Giver of all good gifts for the comfort and service of man, the 
Dispenser of hfe and health, the great Physician of soul and 
body, look graciously upon this thy servant N., now lying 
before thee. Give him faith to trust in thy mercy, and give 
us confidence to minister to him according to thy will. Bless 
^ 9th January, 1906. 


this oil with which we shall anoint him and the hands which 
we shall lay upon him, in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
Give insight and skill to the physicians [and surgeons] who 
shall attend him, and watchfulness and tenderness to those who 
nurse him. Bless all the means used for his recovery, to the 
ease and prevention of pain and the restoration of health and 
strength, if it be thy holy will. And if he have committed 
sins which have brought this sickness upon him, grant that 
they may be forgiven him. All this we ask in the Name and 
for the sake of Jesus Christ, thy only Son our Lord. Amen.' " 

When he was asked, at a later time, for specific 
directions, he gave the following rules 1 : — 

" I think that two or more Presbyters should be present (if 

possible), and if the Bishop of can be with you, so much 

the better. I direct that (i) the anointing should take place 
as part of the service for the Visitation of the Sick, after the 
confession and absolution, if it be used on this occasion ; 

(2) that the following prayer 2 be used before the anointing, 
and after the Psalm and antiphon ' O Saviour of the world ' ; 

(3) that the anointing be on the forehead, or on the forehead 
and the palms of the hands ; (4) that all the oil be consumed ; 
(5) that the hands of the Presbyters present be laid on the 

•head of the patient when the blessing is given, ' The Almighty 
Lord who is a most strong tower.' . . . 

" You will see that in the prayer mention is made of 
other means used. I think it most important that the clergy 
should co-operate with the physicians, and not seem to slight, 
much less to supplant, the skill which is God's gift to them, and 
which they constantly use with so much piety." 

Similarly, when, a few weeks later, Archdeacon Lear 
drew his attention to the want of a prayer for the medical 
profession, he drew up the following : — 

" O merciful Father, who hast wonderfully fashioned man 
in thine image, and hast made his body to be a temple of the 

1 To Canon Dugmore, of Parkstone, 17th January, 1909. 
* Given above. 


Holy Ghost, vouchsafe to bless and sanctify all those whom 
thou hast called to study that body in health and sickness, 
and to whom thou hast given gifts of power to prevent disease 
and to restore health and soundness. Strengthen and support 
them in body and soul, give them prudence and discernment, 
patience and confidence in thee, that they may themselves live 
as members and servants of Christ, and have joy in comforting 
those whom he lived and died to serve, through him who now 
liveth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God 
world without end. Amen." 



The present chapter must range over many lands. An 
inherited interest in efforts made abroad for freedom from 
Rome led Bishop John Wordsworth to follow the fortunes 
of Old Catholics with sympathy ; as a Bishop he was 
charged by successive Archbishops with the duty of 
examining into the cases of many communions, and giving 
them, as might be needful, counsel or support. Wherever 
in Christendom there was a Church that had, or professed 
to have, the historical episcopate, his interest was 
awakened ; and a Church, even though it were un- 
episcopal, that could claim to be national was also in 
his eyes worthy of regard. 

We have seen that in the earliest days of the Old 
Catholic movement he had been brought by his father into 
contact with its leaders, and had come heartily to admire 
them and to cherish hopes, for the English Church as 
well as for them, from their success. He was therefore 
frankly opposed to Rome. Bishop Christopher Words- 
worth, as his published writings show, was vigorously 
hostile to that Church ; no one who interpreted the 
Apocalypse as he did could fail in such repugnance. It 
is needless to say that the son rejected that exegesis ; 
yet he also strongly disapproved of Roman teaching and 
Roman methods. At times he was led into emphatic 
utterance in debate, but only when that curious division 
of labour in the Roman communion, where the scholars 


abstain from controversy and the controversialists are 
not scholars, brought some divine upon the scene who had 
to eke out his deficiencies by arguments that seemed to 
be lacking in candour. Then the Bishop could be 
trenchant in his criticism.^ But this did not lessen his 
admiration for the scholars of that communion ; some of 
them were his friends and with many there was a courteous 
interchange of ideas and of information. And he did his 
best to remove one real grievance under which Roman 
Catholics labour. Before the Coronation of King 
Edward VII. he took part in the debates of the House 
of Lords on the oath to be tendered to the King, and pro- 
posed that, instead of the offensive emphasis given to 
the rejection of transubstantiation, the form — 

" I humbly and sincerely profess my faith in the Gospel of 
Our Lord Jesus Christ, as taught in the Reformed Church of 
England as by law established, and do reject the doctrines 
of the Church of Rome on the supremacy, infallibility, and 
dispensing power of the Pope, and on transubstantiation." 

In a letter to the Times ^ he explained that since the 
Vatican Council of 1870 the infallibility and other attri- 
butes of the Pope are articles of faith, and to omit them 
from such a declaration is nothing less than ludicrous. 
Transubstantiation is no longer the most obvious and 
appropriate distinction, as it was at the time of the Test 
Act in 1673. It was then the only doctrine that was to 
the point, for a dispensation could be had for taking, 
e.g. the oath of supremacy, but not for a denial of transub- 
stantiation. Infallibility is now a barrier equally insur- 
mountable. It is needless to say that this suggestion of 
the Bishop was not more successful than those made by 
others. The desire for courtesy was not accompanied by 

^ E.g. in two letters to the Guardian of the 9th and 30th December, 
1896, headed, "A Bogus Document" and signed by "A Lover of Truth." 
* 25th July, 1901. 


any wish for the minimising of differences between England 
and Rome. The Bishop, in fact, wished them to be con- 
spicuous, and one of the reasons why he desired the clergy 
to deny themselves some indulgences in the revival of 
ancient usage was that the distinction ran thereby the 
danger of being obscured. His general attitude towards 
Rome may be illustrated by this letter, 1 in which he urged 
Archbishop Benson to protest against the opening of 
diplomatic relations with the Roman Court. 

" It is easy to see why the Government is bidding for Papal 
support. But is it not also easy to show — and is it not our 
duty to show it ? — (i) that to treat the Vatican as a court to 
which embassies should be sent is to do Roman CathoHc 
Christianity really a great injury — to stereotype in it the 
worldly spirit of intrigue and grasping at secular dominion ; 
(2) that such recognition abroad must inevitably carry recog- 
nition at home, and react unfavourably upon the dignity 
and establishment of the Church of England. We already 
begin to hear of the ' Rector of Hounslow,' etc., as well as of 
the ' Archbishop of Westminster ' ; (3) that politically it is 
a great mistake to act contrary to the interests of the Italian 
Government — the only country, except perhaps Greece, whose 
interests on the Continent are identical with our own. . . . 
This is a topic on which we ought, I venture to think, to have a 
brave and decided and if possible united policy." 

It so happened that the Bishop's first duties in regard 
to movements for reform within the Roman communion 
were in Italy itself. In 1886 he was charged by Arch- 
bishop Benson, as his delegate, to inquire into the state 
of the Italian body of which Canon Count Campello was 
the leader. He was empowered to give letters of com- 
munion to seceders dissatisfied with Roman doctrine, and 
was asked generally to show sympathy, to make himself 
acquainted with the men and the circumstances, and 

» I2th January, 1888. 


report to the next Lambeth Conference, after which his 
task would be at an end. He threw himself with zeal 
into the work, offering his aid to Count Campello in the 
difficult task of governing his little communion. In 
some English quarters there was great confidence in the 
Count, and high hope of his success. Two Monsignori 
were among his adherents, and he had several congre- 
gations, at Rome and in Umbria. But the Bishop from 
the first had his doubts. He wrote that Count Campello 
was " a good man, but too much of an orator to be a great 
leader." And, in fact, there were dubious characters 
among his adherents ; the Bishop used a startling frank- 
ness in the questions he put concerning their history and 
their motives. He was disappointed, but he had not been 
deceived. Little money was expended, and no licence 
or other official recognition was granted. Campello 
himself was above suspicion. In 1892 the Bishop was 
engaged in revising an Italian liturgy for his congre- 
gations, and so long as the cause was maintained, though 
with increasing feebleness, his interest in it continued. 
But before long Count Campello had returned to his 
allegiance to the Vatican, and the whole movement 

The Bishop took also a great interest even in the 
smallest details of an attempt made to retain for Christi- 
anity a numbei* of Italians in London who were alienated 
from their own Church. The Rev. William Dawson, 
Rector of St. John's, Clerkenwell, found that many, 
especially those who had married English wives, were 
under no religious influence, and from 1886 to 1889 he 
supported a mission among them. It did a substantial 
work in the hands of Signor Mola, an Italian who had 
long served the Church Missionary Society in India and 
Ceylon and was living in retirement in London when he 
was invited to undertake this task. The Bishop was 


drawn into the effort as part of the charge which the Arch- 
bishop had imposed upon him. Unhappily Signor Mola 
soon died : " both a patriotic Itahan and a devout and 
instructed Christian. Sit anima nostra cum illo in die 
iudicii," wrote the Bishop after his death. ^ No fit 
successor could be found. Experiments were made, but 
in spite of careful regulations provided for their life and 
work, the Italian clergy who were imported proved un- 
worthy of trust, and at the end of 1889 this attempt also 
was abandoned. 

Yet the Bishop was sure that the principle on which he 
acted was right. To him this was a particular case 
exemplifying, less vigorously than others^ a legitimate 
revolt. An injudicious partisan had described the under- 
taking as an " Italian mission " — 

" which looks," he wrote,2 " as if I were directing a mission 
from England to convert Italy, which as you know is far from 
my wish. On the other hand, to describe Count Campello 
as an ' Apostate Priest,' or to parallel the Old Catholic position 
on the Continent to that of Wesleyans and other Dissenters 
at home is very misleading in another direction. I am quite 
alive to the danger of seeming to countenance schism. . . . 
This is how I view it. 

" (i) Schism is not a question of numbers ; the few may 
be right where the many may be wrong. In the year 359-360 
the majority of Bishops, both of the East and West, accepted 
an uncathoHc (Homoean) Creed. ' In the East (says Mr. 
Gwatkin, Studies of Arianism, p. 186) the Homoean Supremacy 
lasted for nearly twenty years.' St. Hilary and St. Athanasius 
might have been called schismatics and apostates if numbers 
went for everything or anything. 

" (2) In this case the Old Catholics are standing their 
ground and doing their best to draw others to act with them. 
They are not innovators. They are not introducing new forms 
of doctrine or ritual or discipline. They consider episcopal 

1 To the Guardian, 3rd March, 1888. 

2 To the Rev. G. F. Hooper, 26th February, 1888. 


orders essential. They hold the Catholic creeds, etc., etc. 
They do not set up a standard of doctrine of man's devising 
as the Wesleyans do in Wesley's Sermons and Notes on the 
New Testament. In all matters of principle they agree with 

" (3) The Old Catholics have a far stronger reason for 
breaking away from Rome than we had. They see the out- 
come and development of the Papal pretensions, of which our 
fathers only saw the first stages. Our Reformation is justified 
after the fact, in a way which our Reformers could only con- 
jecture, by the dogmas of the Immaculate Conception and of 
the Vatican Council (the Universal Bishopric and personal 
Infallibility of the Pope). 

" (4) The question of heresy is very important. Heresy is 
hard to define, but it is, I suppose, such grave error in doctrine 
as makes Christian communion impossible. There are degrees 
of heresy and therefore degrees of communion. Some heresies, 
such as those of an immoral kind, e.g. the Mormon, make all 
religious communion impossible. Others (such probably 
as the Armenian, viewed from the standpoint of the Easterns) 
are now so involuntary that we should unite in almost all 
ways, except, it may be, the mutual reception ^of the Eucharist, 
and even this would be permissible in cases of necessity. I 
hold that the Roman Church is heretical in a way to make it a 
duty to separate from its rulers, and to protest against its 
heretical teaching of demonstrable errors under pain of 
eternal damnation, without making it necessary to deny the 
validity of its Sacraments or to call upon all Roman Catholics 
to break with the system under which they have been brought 
up. I should much rather worship in a Roman Church than 
in none at all, but I would far rather worship in a conventicle 
with those who felt the sacredness of truth if (being a Roman 
Catholic) I were refused the communion as the Old Catholics 
everywhere are — unless I acknowledged Roman errors. 

" (5) The Old Catholics may fairly say with our own 
Reformers, schisma patimur non facimus. It is, I think, 
cruel on our part to hold this as true for ourselves, and then 
to look upon them with coldness. Their fewness, and com- 
parative insignificance, is a proof of the weakness of principle 
in the Roman communion, where not one Bishop has remained 


outwardly faithful to the cause of truth. I believe a sense of 
the sacredness of truth can only be restored in that communion 
by the creation of a strong Catholic body in all lands of the 
West and in all our Eastern dependencies, independent of 

The Bishop, in 1887, renewed his acquaintance with the 
Old Catholics, which had begun in his visits to Germany 
in 1871 and 1872, in the latter of which years he had, 
with his father, attended the Conference at Cologne. 
He wished to make some useful contribution to the 
Lambeth Conference which was to assemble in 1888, 
and it occurred to him that accurate information concern- 
ing the present state and doctrine of the Old Catholics 
would be acceptable. The Bishop of Lichfield (Dr. 
Maclagan) had a like design, proposing to visit Italy to 
study the movement there. Bishop Wordsworth knew 
too much to be hopeful in that quarter. He suggested, 
and the Bishop of Lichfield agreed, that they should 
visit the Old Catholics in Germany, Switzerland, and 
Austria, " where we knew that there were communities 
of some standing, led by men of power and learning." 
They arranged to meet Bishop Reinkens at Bonn, Bishop 
Herzog at Olten, near Basel, and Dr. Czech, the adminis- 
trator of the Austrian Old Catholics, who had not 
succeeded in obtaining the permission of his government 
for his consecration, at Vienna. The Bishop of Salisbury 
wished to gain authority for the inquiry. 

" I laid the matter of our proposed journey before the Arch- 
bishop, and drafted a short Latin letter, which he was good 
enough to adopt and sign, with some alterations, so as to give 
an official sanction to our visit and to make it almost an 
embassy from the English Church." 

The two Bishops took each a chaplain, to add to his 
state. The conferences ranged over faith and practice, 



and careful notes were taken by the Bishop of Salisbury ; 
but since the story has been told in the Life of Archbishop 
Maclagan ^ it need not be repeated here. 

In the following year a similar visit was paid to the 
kindred Church of Holland, from which those of Germany 
and Switzerland had obtained their episcopal orders. 
This time the Bishop's companion was the Bishop of 
Newcastle (Dr. Wilberforce), and again there was a com- 
mendatory letter from the Archbishop, setting forth that 
they were come — 

" with the view of obtaining some trustworthy information 
as to the present conditions, tenets, and practice of the Old 
Catholic Church of Holland, and to give such information to 
the Bishops about to be assembled in Conference at Lambeth." 

There seems to have been more aloofness in this meeting 
with the conservative Galileans than with the modern 
Old Catholics. The two Bishops, with two clergy, ^ met 
Archbishop Heykamp, of Utrecht, and three of his priests, 
and put to the Dutchmen a series of questions which 
covered history, doctrine, and practice. Their relation 
to Jansenius, irresistible grace, the Council of Trent and 
the Creed of Pope Pius, their Sacraments and their mode of 
administering them, their Service Books and text-books 
of theology were some of the topics on which inquiry 
was made. Rarely can a body of dignified clergy have 
been subjected to so rigorous an examination. It came 
out in the course of the investigation that — 

" the question of the Anglican succession has never been 
formally examined or determined by the Church of Holland, 
but they were inchned to acknowledge it on the authority 
of Fleury, tome xxxi., pp. 97-99, which was produced from 
the Library. They promised to examine it synodically." 

1 Chap. XXIII. 

« Mr. R. S. Oldham, Rector of Little Chart, Kent, and Mr. P. H. 
Ditchfield, Rector of Barkham, Berks. 


Much courtesy and personal kindness was shown to 
the Bishops in their visits to the various congregations ; 
but perhaps there was a certain poetical justice in the 
deliberation with which the Dutch ecclesiastics proceeded 
in their side of the inquiry. They have not even yet 
arrived at a conclusion concerning the validity of English 
Orders. The Bishop has left a full record of his attempts 
to enlighten them in his Appendix to the Life of Arch- 
bishop Temple. 1 It must suffice here to say that he 
wrote two learned tracts for the resolution of their doubts ; 
doubts that were not shared by Dollinger and the Old 
Catholics. The first of these papers was the De Successione 
Episcoporum in Ecclesia Anglicana, published in 1890. ^ 
He records in his own copy that " it has been revised by 
W. Oxon,3 and indeed was written very much from notes 
made after a conversation with him, so that I hope it is 
fairly correct." Archbishop Benson corrected it in proof. 
For a time the Bishop had hopes that the Dutch were 
being convinced by his plea ; but a new Archbishop arose 
at Utrecht, and the tone hardened. They were, after all, 
a body who represented Galilean Churchmanship of the 
days of Louis XIV., and it was not very strange that they 
should repeat objections that Bossuet might have urged 
against the Anglican position. Amid the sorrow of Mrs. 
Wordsworth's mortal illness the Bishop again took up 
his pen and replied in his De Validitate Ordinum Anglica- 
norum Responsio ad Batavos.^ From this time onwards 
this special debate was lost to sight, and the controversy 
took a wider range, the Roman Church itself sharing in 
the discussion. 

1 Vol. II. 388-397. 

* In Latin and English : republished in English only, 1892 

' Bishop Stubbs. 

* Dated i8th October, 1894 ; Mrs. Wordsworth had died on the 
23rd June. Second edition, Brown, Salisbury, 1895. 


The time for that story has not yet come. We are 
still in 1888. After his return from Holland the Bishop 
welcomed a party of his foreign friends to Salisbury. 
Bishop Herzog came from Berne, the Administrator from 
Vienna was there, and Count Campello, with various 
clergy, including some from Holland. All, including 
these last, communicated with the Bishop in the Palace 
chapel. In the next year, 1889, Mrs. Wordsworth's 
health compelled her to visit Marienbad. The Bishop, 
who accompanied her, took the opportunity of increasing 
his acquaintance with these allies. He spent three days 
with the Bohemian Old Catholics, of German nationality, 
at Warnsdorf. On Sunday, the 13th September, he 
received the Communion at their service and gave the 
benediction. He is loud in his praise ; of one of their 
congregations he says : "I have seldom or never seen a 
more attractive body of people, and I rather longed to 
apply for the post of Pfarrer there myself." Many were 
engaged in the Bohemian glass industry, and he charac- 
teristically thought that it might be introduced at Salis- 
bury. On his way home he met Bishops Reinkens and 
Herzog at Crefeld, where again he found a large and 
hearty congregation of Old Catholics. His judgment on 
his whole experience was — 

" It is no small result surely of the Old Catholic movement 
even now that a chain of Christian communities, agreeing 
with ourselves in most important points of Church discipline 
and doctrine, is firmly established from Rotterdam to Vienna, 
and that in all of these English Churchmen are welcomed as 
friends and brethren, though the degree of intercommunion 
between us and them is not absolutely the same in all." 

In the following year, 1890, he took part in the Old 
Catholic Congress at Cologne, and in 1891 at Lucerne. 
The latter was peculiarly cosmopolitan. Easterns as 
well as Anglicans were still full of hope from the new 


movement. During the proceedings the new church of 
the Old Catholics was consecrated, and the Bishop gave 
an address on the occasion in German and received the 
Holy Communion. This was on the 15th August. Mrs. 
Wordsworth has described her share in the events in 
a letter written next day to a friend : — 

" Madame Weibel (the wife of the Pfarrer) was standing 
by her husband receiving her guests in her black silk dress, 
a little hot and flustered, partly shy and partly from her 
cooking, which she had just left and returned to the moment 
we were seated at the table. I soon felt that I should be far 
happier waiting on the guests with her and her girl than sitting 
at table, the only woman. ... It was such fun running in 
and out of the kitchen (next door to the dining-room) fetching 
clean plates and bringing in dirty ones, etc., that I was quite 
sorry when it was over, and Madame Weibel, rather tired and 
breathless, but quite self-possessed and enthusiastic, came 
and had a long quiet talk with me in the salon, sending the 
children off to bed. The lights below us and the stars above, 
and just the outline of the lake and snow mountains behind, 
made a beautiful picture and made me think, ' Here we see 

darkly, but there ' John and I walked home soon after 

ten, talking about our party with its many nationahties and 
different characters. The next morning, as we were getting 
up, came a note from the Archbishop of Patras asking if we 
were going up Pilatus and if he might come with us. John ■ 
answered it in Greek as well as he could under the circum- 
stances, and after breakfast Pfarrer Weckerle from St. Gall, 
Mr. Isaacs from Armenia, who is just going to Calcutta, and 
the Greek Archbishop of Patras met us at the steamboat, 
where we also met the American Consul and others. ..." 

Again, in 1892, the Bishop went to the Congress at 
Lucerne, and was well satisfied. There were present 
not only Bishops and others from Holland, Germany, 
and Austria, but also Count Campello from Italy, and 
the Czar's confessor, Archpriest Janyscheff, from Russia. 
Again he gave a German address, at a devotional meeting, 


when, in regard to the scruples of his friends from Utrecht, 
he said : "I expect to live to see the day when, on Swiss 
and German ground at any rate, Anglicans and Dutch 
may freely join in communion." On this occasion he 
received the honorary degree of D.D. from the Old 
Catholic faculty of Berne. The Conference in which he 
took part followed closely upon that at Grindelwald, 
famous in its day. Of it he wrote ^ : " I rather fancy that 
that Conference, too, may have done some good." 

The illness of Mrs. Wordsworth in 1893 interrupted 
this intercourse, which was not again resumed with much 
frequency, though the Bishop was a regular contributor 
to the Revue internationale de Theologie, the quarterly 
organ of Old Catholic scholarship. But the knowledge 
he had acquired — his notebooks contain information 
about their constitutional and financial problems, the 
education and mode of thought of their clergy and kindred 
matters which would be of value to a future historian 
of the movement — enabled him to the last to keep in 
touch with their leaders and to follow their fortunes. 

The public interest in the subject of English Orders 
was awakened by the efforts of an excellent French priest, 
the Abbe Portal. The story has been fully told by Lord 
Halifax, 2 and its later phases described with much skill 
by Mr. Arthur Benson, in his Life of his father, the Arch- 
bishop.^ When the Abbe, writing under the name 
" Femand Dalbus," formally denied the validity of our 
Orders, but obviously stated the case in their favour as 
strongly as he could, it was natural that the Bishop 
should express his view. In January, 1894, " Femand 
Dalbus " published his Ordinations Anglicanes ; the Bishop 
wrote him a letter on the subject in May, and addressed 
two letters in later months of the year to an unnamed 

1 To Mr. Bodington, 21st September, 1892. 

^ Leo XIII. and Anglican Orders. London, 1912. 

» Vol. II., Chap. II. 


French ecclesiastic who shared the same charitable 
desire of inducing the authorities of his Church to take 
a first step towards reunion by recognising English Orders. 
A scholar who was at the very time busily enlightening 
the Dutch had the arguments at his fingers' end, and on 
the 9th November, the Bishop's first public contribution 
to the debate was issued : Trois lettres sur la position 
de I'Eglise Anglicane, of which he wrote on his own 
copy, " the French of these letters is more courageous 
than accurate, . . . But the arguments, I think, are 
sound." It was but a slight sketch of the argument ^ ; 
simultaneously there was published the learned De Hierar- 
chia Anglicana dissertatio apologetica of Messrs. Denny and 
Lacey,2 for which he wrote a preface in excellent Latin, 
pleading for charity and candour and expressing his con- 
fidence in the position of his own Church and his hope 
that the discussion might be a first step towards peace. 

This is not the place to narrate the events which led up 
to the Papal bull of i8g6. Lord Halifax has described 
them, and there is a whole literature on the subject. The 
Bishop of Salisbury has also said something of his own 
share in the matter in his contribution to Archbishop 
Temple's Life. There he tells us that it was Bishop Creigh- 
ton who proposed to the Archbishop that they two, with 
the Bishops of Oxford and Salisbury, should draw up the 
necessary reply. The real work was done by the last, 
who at once threw himself into the task. He wrote to 
Bishop Creighton ^ : — 

" I am glad to be associated with yourself and W. Oxen * 
in this responsible task. 

^ 22 pp. 8vo. 

* London, 1895 ; preface dated gth November, 1894. 

^ From the Chancery, Lincoln, 29th September, 1896. 

* Bishop Stubbs' letters to Bishop Creighton on this occasion are 
printed (after extraction of the sting) in Archdeacon Button's Letters 
of William Stubbs, pp. 346 f. 


" I only got your letter to-day and have had to spend the 
day in the train. I found my thoughts flowed best into a 
Latin reply addressed directly to the Pope ; which I have 
written down roughly and without books of reference. 

" I think we should take this Bull by the horns ; if it 
is a Bull. 

" I will send you my draft to-morrow — to-night I send you 
a short summary of it. I could stop on my way back to 
Sarum if you think it of any use. I thought of going on from 
here on Friday. I could come for Thursday or Friday night 
or for an hour or two en route. Let me hear here." 

The draft composed in the train is as follows. The 
lacunae can be supplied from the printed reply : — 

" Draft of Answer to Pope's Letter Apostolicae cume. 

" Great responsibility taken on himself by the Pope. 

" It is not fitting a Christian Bishop should act in this way. 

" We are not disturbed by his decision, except with 
sorrow that he has missed so great an opportunity and has 
been deceived by his own persuasion of infallibility to act 
contrary to Christian prudence and ecclesiastical comity. 

" Our Lord's law of Matt, xviii. 15, binding on him as 
on all Christians, to give those against whom offence is taken 
an opportunity of replying to censure. 

" But love constrains us to reply (notwithstanding the 
threat that those who do so will not be heard) ; and our duty 
to our flocks as Bishops. 

" Discussion of the letter. 

" He has done well to narrow the controversy by throwing 
over Eugenius IV. and the fallacy about Parker, and neglecting 

" Hope we shall hear no more of all that. 

" His letter turns on two points, the praxis curiae and the 
Anglican form, with the subordinate question of intention. 

" He apparently feels somewhat doubtful about the XVIth 
century praxis. [This I leave to others to treat in detail.] 

" He rests more upon Clement XI. and Gordon, but that is 
weak because (i) Clement gives no particulars of defect of 


form and intention. [Is not this so ?] (2) Gordon asked to be 

" He has therefore done well not to acquiesce simply in 
these precedents. 

" Nor do we much differ on the principle that the matter 
and form of ordination are imposition of hands with suitable 
prayer, and that the intention of a Church (as distinct from an 
individual) is fair matter of inquiry. 

" Of course we do not hold absolutely to the scholastic 
doctrine that each Sacrament has an absolutely certain matter 
and form. Only Baptism has : and for a good reason . 

" Give instances of other Sacraments. 

" What is his authority for a certain form in Orders ? 

" The obiter dictum [Is it so ?] of the Council of Trent 
which he alone quotes would not be sufficient even if it were a 
text of Holy Scripture. 

" His conclusion seems to be that the essence of the form 
for the priesthood is mention of the power to offer sacrifice, 
and for the episcopate some phrase about summum 
sacerdotium or pontifical dignity. 

" Treat the latter first. African canon against use of 
the term summum sacerdotium, even of a primate. 

"To us the name ' Bishop ' suffices to describe what we 
mean. Explain what that is. [This should be guarded so as 
to conciliate, or at least not alienate, Presbyterians.] 

" Meet his argument about the addition of the words 
' for the office and work of a Bishop or Priest ' : (i) these 
words were added to correct Presbyterian misinterpretation ; 
(2) Any doubt of our fathers as to the fulness of the formula 
could not invalidate it, if it were per se sufficient (the intention 
being otherwise clear). That it is sufficient is proved by the 
decision of Pope as to Ethiopic ordinations. 

" This part of the letter is unfair. It leaves the reader 
to draw a conclusion which the Pope (knowing this decision) 
does not dare himself to formulate. 

" His second and principal argument is that we have 
removed whatever most sets forth the dignity and office of 
the priesthood and what ought to be essentially there. [I 
have treated this in my letter to Abp. Gul, which perhaps you 
have. I have not got it with me.] 


" This is a marvellous objection, and implies that the 
pastoral office and the power of the keys and of discipline, 
of which our Ordinal speaks so fully, are of no importance 
compared with the power of sacrificing ; and practically of 
no importance at all. 

" Quote Scripture [e.g. as in my sermon at Norwich Church 
Congress]. The Pope is glad enough to quote Pasce oves 
meas, etc., to support his pontifical claims when convenient, 
yet he treats this Whole side of the priestly office as of no 

" The reference to the power of sacrifice was cut out 
naturally with the dropping of the traditio instrumentorum. 

" It is, however, implied in the commission to minister 
the Sacraments and in the Communion Office, as well as in 
the statement of English theologians from the beginning. 

" Absence of any definite reference in old Sacramentaries, 
especially the Gelasian. 

" Thirdly, as to intention. The preface to the Ordinal 
shows our intention to continue the three Orders as derived 
by perpetual succession from the Apostles. 

" Summing up. 

" We regret the Pope's decision, but accept it as a sugges- 
tion of Divine Providence to follow out our own line of duty 
in regard to the whole English-speaking race throughout the 

" A few words for the benefit of outsiders. 

" J. s. 

" Michaelmas Day, 1896." 

In less than a fortnight the Responsio was ready, 
substantially as it was published. On the loth October 
Bishop Wordsworth was able to write to the Bishop of 
Peterborough : — 

" I sent off my tentamen to the Archbishop at Hawarden 
yesterday in a registered envelope, so I hope he has it by this 
time. My being at West Lul worth (where we have a charming 
rough cottage) has in some ways delayed my doing so, though 
in some ways expedited it, as I had three clear days to revise 
and copy it. I have kept a rough copy and sent him a 


smoother one. It would have been a great misfortune to 
send him a piece of work which, as I found on re-reading, was 
full of holes. Even now I find points which must certainly 
be added, e.g. from the decrees of Trent putting the power of 
remission of sins on an equality with the offering of sacrifice. 
Yet the Pope says we have cut out quidquid dignitatem 
sacerdotii plane designat. Of course if you emphasise the 
prayers this is so. But there is nothing about either sacrifice 
or remission of sins in the Pontifical of the Vllth century used, 
I suppose, by St. Gregory. Augustine, I imagine, was con- 
secrated by Gallican rites which were (and became more so) 
very different from the severe simplicity of the old Roman. 
My task has been, I think, specially to work out this point. 

" Canon Carter writes that he is distressed by what I 
have said about Presbyterians. The words ' ulterior conse- 
quences ' were perhaps misjudged ; but I mean, of course, 
on Catholic lines." 

The history of the Responsio, published in four lan- 
guages and in some 13,000 copies, is given by the Bishop 
in the Life of Archbishop Temple. The profits, granted 
to the author by the Archbishops, amounted to more than 
£225, almost all in 1897 (publication began on the 9th 
March) and 1898. They were devoted to the foreign 
work of the Church. On his own copy the Bishop has 
written : — 

" The Latin of the Responsio is the original. The English 
was, to a considerable extent, the work of Hugh Eraser 
Stewart, Vice-Principal of Sarum Theological College,^ but 
constantly revised by myself. The whole of the Responsio 
was written by my pen ; 2 but certain crucial passages were 
much discussed both in committee (with the Archbishop of 

1 Now Dean of St. John's College, Cambridge. 

^ " It was said that when the Pope read a Latin letter of the Bishop's 
he uttered the wish that his Cardinals could write Latin as well." So 
said the Bishop of Winchester in his Funeral Sermon on Bishop Words- 
worth (Salisbury Diocesan Gazette, 191 1, p. 159). The story was widely 
circulated ; I cannot trace its origin . Dr. Talbot is sufficient authority 
for its insertion here. 


York and the Bishops of Peterborough {i.e. London) and 
Oxford ^) and privately with the Archbishop (Temple) of 
Canterbury. I also had communications with my brother. 
Father Puller of Cowley, Dr. Bright, Mr. Brightman, and 
W. H. Frere on points on which they were specially authorita- 
tive. Chapters XL and XIX. were the most difficult to 
formulate. The Archbishop paid special attention to gentle- 
ness and equitableness of style {iiruiKeia) , and to him the 
Responsio owes much of its force in this respect. 

" Several faults of style in the Latin were pointed out 
(with very little gentleness) by a Belgian Professor whose 
name I forget. But they were not real faults with one excep- 
tion, in which the Archbishop, however, thought there was 
no fault, viz. p. 9, line 13 from the bottom, where in later 
editions we added errores ; the grammars say quos, referring 
to a masculine and feminine impersonal antecedent, should 
be quae. The other points censured were. . . . These are 
only faults to a man who does not know Latin as it is in books, 
and takes his ideas solely from grammars or oral teachers of 
narrow experience," 

The appearance of Archbishop Maclagan was due, 
it is almost needless to say, to the death of Archbishop 
Benson at Hawarden on the nth October, 1896. He had 
not lived to open the registered packet containing the 
draft of the Responsio, and his death caused the delay of 
publication till the 9th March, 1897. The reply was 
again published in the English version, with some pre- 
fatory matter, in 1912, after Bishop Wordsworth's death. 
On the disputed question whether the failure of the effort 
for peace was due to unreadiness, on one side or the other, 
to seize a providential opportunity, the Bishop agreed 
with Archbishop Benson that the Pope was at fault. And 
it must be noted, as regards the method of the debate, 
that it was no discursive search for truth, but an attempt, 
sincerely and successfully made, to show that the Roman 

^ Maclagan, Creighton, and Stubbs. 


reasoners, their own premisses being accepted, were in 
the wrong. 

An opportunity for attempting reunion in another 
quarter had already arisen. Bishop Charles Wordsworth, 
of St. Andrews, had died in 1892, and his nephew, the 
Bishop of Salisbury, had been asked to complete his 
memoirs. The good old Bishop had devoted two ample 
volumes to his own experiences down to 1856, and it 
was a somewhat desperate venture to dedicate a third to 
what had not been a very eventful life. But the nephew 
took up the task as an effort for union quite as much as 
in the interests of biography. Home reunion was a topic 
which he had long taken seriously. Among the " Agenda 
(Tvv Qet^" of 1885^ had been: "To prepare for either 
issue as to the establishment. If it remains, to make it a 
lever for union with foreign Churches, Old Catholics, etc. ; 
if abolished, to establish Home reunion." Mrs. Words- 
worth's illness and his own subsequent ill-health and 
journey to the Antipodes postponed the work, but 
he began to arrange the formidable mass of material 
before the end of 1895. He took it very seriously. He 
made great efforts to "localise" forty-nine pamphlets, 
many of them anonymous, that had been published in a 
furious Eucharistic controversy in the Episcopal Church 
of Scotland during 1858 and 1859, ^^'^ ^^^^ was typical 
of his thoroughness. The seriousness of the questions 
under debate gave importance in his eyes to faded fly- 
sheets and forgotten speeches. It was all living and 
present to him ; perhaps he did not succeed in giving it a 
vivid interest for his own readers. At any rate the book, 
published in 1899, is a model of conscientious industry 
and a mine of information hardly accessible elsewhere. 
There was gain, as well as loss ; undoubtedly the Vulgate 
suffered by this absorption. 

^ See p. 160. 


Among the new friends whom the Bishop acquired 
through this undertaking were Professor Cooper, of 
Glasgow, and Bishop Dowden, of Edinburgh, with whom 
he formed a close alliance ; they had many interests in 
common. To this Bishop he wrote, when his plan was 
taking shape ^ : — 

" I am going to write my uncle's memoir and shall make 
it more a review of the different controversies and subjects 
in which he was interested than a personal book. This has 
led me already to treat the question of the validity of Presby- 
terian orders, which has interested me more than I expected 
— and to give some account of his three sermons on Holy 
Communion, which are worthy, I think, of more notice than 
they have received. I shall have to go more, no doubt, into 
later phases of Eucharistic controversy, and also into the 
question of ordination. But this will be, though dif&cult 
and dangerous ground, not unuseful. Incedere per ignes may 
be an ordeal good for myself as for the spectators." 

And a little later to the same ^ : — 

" I hope to come to Scotland for a few days just after the 
middle of September. ... I want specially to see any leading 
Presbyterians who may have ideas on reunion. Of course 
my idea is to find out how they regarded my uncle's work — 
not to propose schemes of a practical nature, which your 
Bishops may some day, perhaps, see their way to do." 

Disappointment at the Pope's conduct was a further 
spur to zeal in the interest of union at home. The Bishop 
took the diocese into his confidence, told it that he was 
engaged on his uncle's life, and proceeded ^ : — 

" The decisive utterance of the Pope on Anglican Orders, 
which is in one sense a distressing rebuff for all who have 
laboured for a future unity of Christendom, and which seems 
to me a misuse of the fairest opportunity that a man has ever 

^ 27th June, 1896. ^ 29th August, 1896. 

' Diocesan Gazette, 1896, p. 220. 


had since the sixteenth century for promoting that unity, 
has in other respects its good side. It sets us free to do the 
work that lies nearest to hand without so much regard to 
ulterior consequences. We are free to follow out the path 
opened to us by Divine Providence to create an independent 
and worldwide communion, and in that effort we are bound, 
I think, first of all to consider the Established Church of 

A little later i :— 

" I have suggested a conference between leading men of 
our Church and leading Presbyterians for the purpose of draft- 
ing a common Catechism on the fundamentals of the faith 
. . . not in any way to substitute something for our own 
Church Catechism where it can be used, but where it cannot. 
My main object is to influence education in the Colonies, 
where the foundation of the faith is often not taught at all 
in elementary schools. My second object is to supply some- 
thing which may be taught in Board Schools, with a reasonable 
prospect of being acceptable without infringing the Act of 

Such interdenominational Catechisms were in vogue 
at the time. More than one was printed, but the Bishop 
did not add to the number, nor does the projected con- 
ference seem to have taken place. But his increased 
familiarity with the Presbyterian point of view, and further 
study which bore fruit in his Ministry of Grace in 1901, 
led to a certain modifidation of his theories concerning 
the growth of the ministry. Thus he writes to Bishop 
Wallis 2 :_ 

" I hope you will agree with my sketch of the rise of the 
monarchical episcopate. I find some of the Welsh clergy 3 
had been accustomed to knock down their opponents by telling 
them that the episcopate was instituted by our Lord in the 

1 Diocesan Gazette, p. 236, 24th October, 1896. 

^ 1 2th September, 1901. 

' The Bishop had just been giving some lectures at Lampeter. 


great forty days, and they do not at all like being deprived of 
so cogent an argument. They were rather ready to take the 
line that, if what I said was true, there was no harm in being 
a Dissenter — but it was probably untrue, and I was therefore 
more or less heretical. So we must be careful of offending 
weak brethren. Of course we really do not know what St. 
John may have taught, but I cannot think that St. Peter or 
St. Paul would have disagreed with my chapter, judging by 
Clement's reference to their teaching in the Epistle to the 
Corinthians, § 44, and his own usage, especially in the chapter 
just preceding. 

" I hope you will study further the whole subject, and con- 
sider what doubts and difficulties may be created on our own 
side : e.g. how would you answer (i) the obvious objection 
that the Presbyterians have possessed a succession of the 
one order ? (2) that, if there is any development possible in 
such a matter, we have no right to limit its period, and 
the dissenting ministry may be a development, under the 
guidance of the Holy Spirit, suitable to the times in which 
we live ? It brings in (they may say) a greater variety of 
service, poorer men are admissible to it, it is less worldly and 
compromising, etc., etc. The second seems a more difficult 
topic to treat than the first, though I suppose we should answer, 
there was a distinct period of development, answering to the 
charismatic period to which I have referred.^ This was in 
some places longer and in some shorter, just as some people's 
faith grew quicker than that of others even in the human 
ministry of our Lord, but it was practically over by a.d. 

" It seems to me providential that the monarchical epis- 
copate grew slowly at Rome. Had it not done so, we should 
have had great difficulty in meeting papal claims. What would 
have happened had Ignatius written in his usual style about a 
Bishop of Rome ? We should never have heard the last of it. 

"It is also a great blessing not to be obliged to treat 
Dissenters as disobedient to a command or revelation of .our 
Lord. To them we apply His words, ' He that is not against 
us is for us,' and dare not apply the others, ' He that is not 
with me is against me.' " 

^ Ministry of Grace, ed. i., pp. 146-148. 


And a little later he replied to a critic of the Ministry 
of Grace ^ : — 

" My view of the relation of the Episcopate to the Presby- 
terate is that in the East, e.g. Jerusalem, Antioch, Asia Minor, 
the ministry was established in three orders in the lifetime of 
St, John ; that in the West, e.g. Rome, Corinth, Alexandria, 
there were at first two orders, but the superior order, the 
Presbyterium, always had a President, or Presidents, and that 
these were the predecessors of the Bishops of those sees. As 
regards the necessity of the Episcopate as the normal form of 
Church government, I expressly say on p. 124, after describing 
the threefold need which led to the monarchical or independent 
authority assigned to Bishops in the West : ' In aU this we 
are to see the hand of God, gradually building up an institution 
necessary for His Church.' The only way, I think, in which 
my point of view differs from that which has usually been held 
from the time of Archbishop Bancroft in the Church of England 
is that the division of the ministry in every part of the Catholic 
Church into three orders does not rest on the same fundamental 
order, so to call it, as the acceptance of the Bible, the Creed, 
of the Sunday and of the two Sacraments. [See Preface, 
p. vi.] We can, therefore, treat Presbyterians as less wil- 
fully in the wrong, and tolerate, if need be, a return to a less 
monarchical form of episcopacy in some countries. Other 
consequences might follow if any widespread movement for 
reunion were to become popular. My object has been to 
exhibit the facts of early Church history with absolute im- 
partiality. The conclusions stated above are the result of 
long study, and I was certainly not prejudiced in favour of 
the view which I have now adopted, but rather against it. 
If it is wrong, I shall welcome better knowledge from whatever 
quarter it comes." 

And finally one of the Bishop's latest sermons, preached 
in the Cathedral on the 5th February, 1911, may be cited 
in this context : — 

" The value of such episcopal oversight of the clergy as the 
two great Apostles exercised could not be missed or forgotten. 

1 8th February, 1902. 


It was not for one age only, but for aH time. It was almost 
a necessity for unity of faith, for unity and continuity of order 
and practice, for discipline of persons. But, on the other 
hand, these same Apostles were conscious that their office 
was not of a different kind from that of the other clergy. St. 
Peter speaks as a fellow-presbyter to other fellow-presbyters. 
St. Paul, as I have said, refers to their choice by the Holy 
Ghost. ... If, then, we are to speak of a doctrine of Apos- 
tolical succession, it must include both Bishops and Presbyters 
as partakers in it. Their office is fundamentally the same, 
whether it be called a sacerdotium or priesthood, a presbyterate 
or eldership, or a ministry of the word and sacraments. It is 
in both cases as really concerned with the great duty of feeding 
and of tending the Church of God. It is equally a ministry 
to which the call comes from the Holy Ghost, both within and 
without, and to which the commission is given by those who 
have held like office before — and thus both Bishops and 
Presbyters are successors of the Apostles. I believe this 
inference from Scripture and Church history is becoming 
increasingly clear — so clear that some of you younger students 
of theology may perhaps think it a commonplace. We shall 
not then, I think, be right in trying to conciliate those who 
differ from us in polity by denying the reality of Apostolical 
succession, but by extending it in the direction in which the 
Apostles seem to extend it. We must also surely let this 
widening of our theory have its influence upon our practice." 

This interest in Presbyterian Orders led the Bishop 
to the discussion in his learned Ordination Problems ^ 
of the question of reordination. He reviewed in it the 
erudite work Les Reordinations of the Abbe Saltet,^ and 
adds modern instances, especially the episcopal consecra- 
tion of Scottish ministers in 1610 and 1661, to his medieval 
precedents, ending with practical suggestions for the 
application of the principle he has deduced to the case of 
Scotland to-day. There were other cases, which cannot 
be publicly named, in which he was hopeful that these 

1 London, S.P.C.K., 1909. * Paris, 1907. 


examples might be followed with success. But in regard 
to the general question of the development of the ministry 
it is unfortunate that the Bishop has never discussed the 
recent developments of thought. In particular, he has 
ignored, like other Englishmen, Dr. Rudolf Sohm's 
important Kirchenrecht. 

His last effort in the cause of the union of Christendom, 
that with which he, among others, was charged by the 
Lambeth Conference in regard to the Church of Sweden, 
has been so fully narrated in the official report 1 and 
elsewhere that it may be omitted here. On its personal 
side the Bishop's intercourse with his Swedish friends is 
described in the last chapter of this book. His final 
judgment on their Church was that it— 

" may claim to be an integral part of Catholic Christendom 
in any restoration of Church unity on other lines than those 
of simple subservience to Rome . With a very different history, 
it has arrived at a position very Uke our own." 

To no part of Christendom was the Bishop more 
closely drawn, by historical and also by inherited 
sympathy, than the ancient Churches of the East. Almost 
the last sermon that he preached was at the consecration 
of his friend and chaplain, Dr. H. J. C. Knight, to the 
see of Gibraltar. Addressing him, he said^ : — 

" The old Churches amongst which your work Ues are full 
of wounds and sorrows, of vague movements, desires and 
impulses. You will know how you can best minister to their 
wants. We are not called to active propagation of reforms, 
for the leverage of which we have no sufficient fulcrum, and 
which we have no power of overseeing and directing ; we 
are not called to make converts to our own communion, though 

^ The Church of England and the Church of Sweden. Report of 
the Commission appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury. London, 
Mowbray, 191 1. 

* 25th July, 191 1, in St. Paul's Cathedral. 


to many a poor soul it may be a self -sought haven of rest. 
We are called to maintain a high and strict standard of Church 
life and Christian conduct among our scattered congregations, 
to make known our principles and to exhibit them in action, 
and to show helpfulness and sympathy to all who are willing 
to accept our help. Anglican sobriety, without Anglican 
stiffness and reserve, nay, rather with a Christlike longing to 
be of service to all good men and all good causes, is the temper 
which I know you wiU strive to promote, and which your 
wonderful opportunities will give you scope to make effective 
for the realisation of the Kingdom of God." 

Much of Bishop Wordsworth's work in regard to 
Eastern Churches does not lend itself to narration. It 
was often confidential, and in the course of it he acquired 
an extraordinary wealth of knowledge, and also a sym- 
pathy, which sometimes took the form of tolerance, 
for the officers of Churches which had endured so much. 
Some of his experiences were strange. Wishing to please 
one remote prelate he attached an impression of his 
signet-ring to a letter of introduction given to a clergyman 
who was visiting his region. The dignitary was wounded ; 
there must be an occult reason why the seal was not 
larger, and that reason must be a purposed affront to 
himself. Such misunderstandings taught our Bishop 
to be tender to the self-consciousness of the Oriental 
Christian, and to recognise his want of the sense of 
humour. He had occasion also to guide the agents, 
often travelling at their own charges, who were commis- 
sioned, more or less officially, to approach these Easterns. 
To one young clergyman he gave the counsel : — 

" Please write to ... to tell him what has happened, 
saying as little about myself and yourself as possible. In 
these matters we must keep self as much as possible in the 
background and the general interests of the Church in the 


His efforts were not without success, real though it cannot 
be registered in precise terms, in drawing the Churches 
together. This was in part due to his discountenancing 
the attempt to make proselytes and his unwillingness to 
approve the reception of such as offered themselves. He 
rejoiced when his cousin, Mr. H. C. Frere, Chaplain at 
Beyrout and Archdeacon in Syria, ^ induced a discon- 
tented body of Greek Christians to return to their alle- 
giance ; but when a body of members of the Roman 
communion was wavering towards the Greeks, not without 
a certain willingness to join the English Church if some 
encouragement were shown them, he wrote : — 

" It seems a very good opportunity of gaining reasonable 
influence, even if we do not accept the whole congregation 
permanently. ... As regards ritual, I should not desire an 
acceptance of the Anglican, but a purgation of the native 
Syro-Arabic, which might in time to come be accepted 
by the rest of the Maronites. And as regards dogma, I think 
a rejection of the decrees of Trent and of anything imposed 
by Rome since 1182 would suffice." 

Nothing came of this, and there is no reason to think 
that the Bishop was sorry. His interest extended to 
the separated Churches of the East, of whose doctrinal 
isolation, caused as it has been by historical circumstances 
of ancient date, he was a very benevolent interpreter. 
He took part in discussions, necessarily private, which 
aimed at the formulation of terms by which the orthodoxy 
of some of them, of which he was assured, might be made 
technically as well as substantially manifest. And he 
was always ready to defend them in cases of need, as when 
he denied 2 a rumour, which he traced to an attempt to 
induce the Christians of Malabar to accept the Papal 
supremacy, that his " venerable friend " the Jacobite 

1 1901-1906. ' The Times, iSth January, 1909. 


Syrian Patriarch Mar Ignatius Abdallah II. had joined 
the Church of England. 

He made two literary efforts to spread a knowledge of 
the English Church in the East. Cyprus was a country 
in which he was deeply interested, striving behind the 
scenes to settle its ecclesiastical disputes and protesting 
in public against the financial burdens which England 
has laid upon it. For Cypriote use he procured the 
translation into modem Greek of his additions to the 
Church Catechism. 1 As early as 1889 he wrote to Arch- 
bishop Benson ^ : "I propose consultation about a 
manual of Anglican Church matters for foreign inquirers." 
In 1900 it appeared as " Some points in the teaching of 
the Church of England, set for the information of Orthodox 
Christians of the East in the form of an answer to ques- 
tions." The Bishop was the chief but not the sole author. 
The little book bore the imprimatur : " Approved. 
F. Cantuar, 27th June, 1900." It was translated into 
Greek, Russian, Italian, and Arabic.^ Direct results 
from these varied efforts were hardly to be expected. 
But they have certainly diffused a spirit of mutual under- 
standing and good will, of which there have been from 
time to time such tokens as the blessing given in Greek, 
one Sunday in 1889, by the Archbishop of Cyprus to the 
congregation of Salisbury Cathedral. 

This chapter may end with the memories of a learned 
Frenchman, Monsieur Alexis Larpent, who was a fellow- 
worker with the Bishop in some of his efforts for the union 
of Christendom * : — 

" Souvent I'Archeveque de Canterbury m'avait parle 

^ See Bibliography. Kar^xi^''^ iKSoOelcra eV rfj SioiK-^o-ei rrjs 'Sa\i<T$ovplas 
• . . iu AevKoiffiq.. 1899. Translated by the Rev. H. T. F. Duckworth. 

^ 24th January, 1889. 

' See Bibliography. 

* M. Larpent, whose position may be defined as having been that 
of the old Gallicans, for some years lived in England, assisting 


de son ami le Dr. John Wordsworth. A Addington j'avais 
remarque une photographic des Benson et des Wordsworth 
reunis comme s'ils formaient une seule famille. L'Archeveque 
avait ecrit le mot ofjioOv/xaSov au dessous du groupe. Au 
British Museum je demandais de temps en temps les oeuvres 
de John Sarum et celles de son pere Christopher Lincoln. 
Je me preparais a une rencontre que je desirais et pressentais. 
Un jour, pendant le printemps de 1895 j 'arrival a Lambeth 
avec mon paquet d'epreuves corrigees. — ' Non,' me dit 
rhistorien de St. Cyprien, ' nous ne ferons rien aujourd'hui ; 
allez dans la salle a manger ; I'Eveque de Sahsbury vous 
attend.' L'accueil fut cordial mais sans formahtes ni pre- 
ambule. — ' Si vous voulez, nous allons lire ensemble les 
notes que vous avez envoyees a Sa Grace sur le manuscrit 
de St. Cyprien prete par Lord Crawford. Leopold Delisle 
a vu le codex, je I'ai etudie aussi et I'accord n'est pas fait sur 
la date. . . .' Mon tour vint ensuite de dire ce que j'avais 
cru voir ou deviner et de justifier mes opinions. Je me sentais 
petit et novice en presence d'un pareil maitre, mais je prenais 
confiance en regardant la t^te pensive qui etait devant moi. 
II savait ecouter. II etait desireux de donner toutes les chances 
possibles a celui qui I'interrogeait. II charmait par son atten- 
tion. La conversation technique dura assez longtemps. 
Lorsque les points relatifs a I'age, a I'ecriture et a quelques 
IcQons du document furent discutes, I'Eveque tira un calendrier 
et un stylographe de sa poche. ' Je rendrai compte a Sa Grace 
de notre entrevue. . . . Pouvez vous venir passer quelques 
jours a Salisbury la semaine prochaine ? ' Voila quel fut le 
premier contact. 

" Je ne suis jamais alle au vieux palais sans quelque raison : 
etudes speciales, recherches, verifications; mais I'affection 
etait nee, et le travail poursuivi sous une direction stimulante 
etait un bienfait. Quand I'Eveque pouvait s'arracher k ses 
occupations, il etait le plus interessant des compagnons. Je 
me rappelle une promenade a Bemerton et une visite k la 
petite eghse. Ce jour-li I'homme g^neralement absorbe se 

Archbishop Benson in scholarly work, especially in regard to St. Cyprian, 
and also in confidential correspondence with many foreign Churches. 
He is now in France, and a member of the French Church, but 
entirely, so he writes, outside controversy. 


revela avec un esprit frais et vivace d'un jeune etudiant. 
Quelle memoire il avait ; comme les citations coulaient 
naturellement de ses levres ; quels gracieux souvenirs il 
evoquait ! Ces heures de longue detente etaient tres-rares 
et pendant une periode de onze ans je n'ai eu qu'une fois mon 
pelerinage a Bemerton. 

" La mort de I'Archeveque nous prouva que la douleur 
est le plus puissant des liens. Des preoccupations nouvelles 
s'imposerent. L'Eveque me fit lire la Reponse a la BuUe 
Apostolicae Curae avant la publication, et me communiqua 
aussi les 6preuves du Ministry of Grace. Ceux qui ont 
consult e cet ouvrage savent quels tresors d'informations 
exactes sont accumules dans les notes dont quelques unes 
ressemblent a des articles de dictionnaire. J'aurais voulu 
que ce livre fut complete par The Means of Grace. 
L'Eveque me promettait de faire cette seconde partie, mais 
tant de choses encombraient la route que le projet ne fut 
jamais realise. II est regrettable que I'oeuvre reste sans 
sa conclusion formeUe. Nul n'etait plus capable que I'auteur 
de donner I'idee exacte des doctrines sacramentaires de 
I'Eglise Chretienne. Son erudition etait sure et sa critique 
etait delicate. 

" L'Eveque me proposa d'etre secretaire de 1' Anglo- 
Continental Society ^ et de 1' Association for the furtherance 
of Christianity in Egypt. Les deux corporations furent 
reunies sous le nom d' Anglican and Foreign Church Society. 
II s'agissait surtout de faire connaitre I'Eglise Anglicane, 
car elle est une terre incertaine pour ceux qui n'ont pas mis les 
pieds sur un sol Britannique. L'occasion se presenta bientot 
de publier un tract important. Les rapports entre les Grecs 
de Jerusalem et le Dr. Blyth, Eveque Anglican dans cette 
ville, etaient excellents. Le prelat Anglais avait meme eu 
le merite de ramener la concorde dans une eglise orthodoxe 

1 The early history of this society is mentioned on p. 93. It will 
suffice to refer for details to Mr. Meyrick's Memoirs of Life at Oxford 
and Elsewhere (London, Murray, 1905). The title was changed to 
"Anglican and Foreign Church Society" in 1904, when the Egyptian 
Society was amalgamated with it. Its annual report is still the best 
source by far from which Englishmen may gain accurate and sympathetic 
information about ecclesiastical movements abroad. 


dechiree par les discordes intestines. A Alexandrie, le Patri- 
arche manifestait une vive sympathie aux clergymen qui 
s'approchaient de lui. A Constantinople le Patriarche 
(Ecumenique etait aussi tres favorable. Cependant ces 
personnages n'avaient que des notions vagues et confuses sur 
TEglise d'Angleterre qu'ils consideraient comme une secte 
protestante, moins heretique peut-etre que les autres, mais 
sans traditions historiques. L'Eveque fit un opuscule, que 
M. J. Gennadius traduisit en grec, sur quelques points de 
doctrine pour montrer que Tenseignement dogmatique de 
son Eglise est conforme a I'orthodoxie. C'etait le vrai moyen 
d'eclairer les theologiens des pays des Patriarchats. II est 
inutile d'offrir de gros livres et des traites systematiques. 
La pensee occidentale reste encore et restera suspecte a ceux 
qui quelquefois ne lisent rien en dehors de leurs livres sacres. 
Pour se rendre compte de cet etat de stagnation il suffit de 
Jeter les yeux sur le Nouveau Testament publie par autorite 
du Patriarche de Constantinople. Les collations de manu- 
scrits faites par les editeurs modernes sont ignorees et le livre 
est compile d'apres les codices inferieurs. Ces Grecs sont 
nos ancetres dans la Foi. Nous venerons leurs saints. Nous 
cherchons notre inspiration dans les ceuvres de leurs docteurs. 
Leurs liturgies nourrissent notre piete. Sommes-nous destines 
a vivre toujours loin les uns des autres ? Ne pouvons-nous pas 
nous comprendre et nous reconcilier ? Ces pensees revenaient 
constamment dans les entretiens de I'Eveque. II voulait 
non seulement dechirer les voiles qui cachent I'Eglise Anglicane, 
mais aider les Grecs a sortir de la routine dans laquelle ils se 
trainent depuis tant de siecles. 

La situation des Coptes est encore plus pathetique. Nous 
desirions que les Anglais comprissent leurs responsabilites 
et nous aidassent a repandre I'instruction dans cette terre 
d'Egypte soumise a leur influence. Les appels adresses a nos 
amis et a nos souscripteurs ne donnerent pas les ressources 
necessaires aux campagnes dont nous avions fait les plans. 
Le Tract sur les points de doctrine fut traduit en Arabe. Les 
Coptes instruits ecouterent avec satisfaction quelques con- 
ferences, mais aucun resultat important n'a encore ete obtenu. 
A Londres, nous celebrions tons les ans un service d'inter- 
cession auquel nous invitions les membres de notre Societe. 


L'Eveque avait choisi les prieres, et, guide par son amour 
de I'unite chretienne, il avait insert la coUecte du Missel 
Romain pour la vigile de la fete des Saints Apotres Pierre et 
Paul. En void le texte latin que je mets ici comme 
temoignage de Foi commune, avec I'espoir du ' Salut Commun,' 
et pour prier encore avec celui que j'ai aime : ' Praesta, quae- 
sumus, Omnipotens Deus : ut nullis nos permittas perturba- 
tionibus concuti, quos in apostolicae confessionis petra 
solidasti. Per Christum Dominum nostrum.' 

" Ces desirs de reunion ont quelquefois ete ajjprecies 
par les representants des autres Eglises. En 1898 I'Ev^que 
fit un voyage en Orient. II alia voir le Patriarche Kyrillos, 
chef religieux des Coptes, au Caire, qui le re9ut avec honneur 
et lui donna un manuscrit du service pour la 'Consecration 
d'une Eglise et d'un Autel ' selon le rite Copte. Quelques 
annees plus tard I'office fut edite a Londres par le Rev. G. 
Horner et un grand nombre d'exemplaires fut offert au 
Patriarche. A Jerusalem, I'Eveque consacra I'Eglise Cathe- 
drale de St. Georges. Dans cette ville, comme dans les 
autres cites qu'il traversa, il fut traite comme un frere par 
les dignitaires orthodoxes. Ainsi se renouvelaient entre les 
Grecs et les Anglicans des courtoisies qui datent de I'epoque 
de Cyrille Loukar. Ainsi les corehgionnaires de I'Archeveque 
Lykourgos rendaient au fils de I'Eveque de Lincoln les amenites 
de Riseholme.i 

" II etait du reste impossible a I'Eveque de refuser sa 
sympathie aux hommes voues au service de Dieu. Separe 
de I'Eglise Romaine par ses convictions deliberees, il etait 
heureux de rendre justice et service aux membres de cette 
communion. A la fin de la reponse a la bulle Apostolicae 
Curae, on trouve un eloge des encychques de Leon XIII, 
Les prelats remains L. Duchesne et P. Batiffol ont connu 
I'hospitalite du palais de Sarum. Apres mon retour en France, 
en 1906, j'appelai plusieurs fois I'attention de I'Eveque sur 
les travaux des pretres cathohques. II donna son approba- 
tion a I'ouvrage de M. I'Abbe E. Mangenot sur la Resurrection 
de Notre Seigneur. M. E. Bodin, de la Congregation de la 
Mission, ayant demand^ la permission de se servir de certaines 

^ See p. 92. 


notes de la Vulgate d'Oxford pour I'edition du Nouveau 
Testament Grec et Latin qu'il preparait, regut immediatement 
une reponse favorable. 

" J'etais dans un coin du Berri lorsque j'appris la mort de 
I'ami venere qui avait tenu une si grande place dans ma vie 

. . . McTO, TTvevixaTOiv SiKttt'cov TCTeXctw/Aevwv T'^v \l/v^v Tov SovAou 
(Tov Swrep avairavcov' fjivXdrTwv avrr^v €ts t7]v fxaKapuav ^Mrjv, T'^i/ 
irapa <tov, <j)tXdv6pwTre.^ 

" Je voudrais dire maintenant quelle fut, selon moi, une 
des qualites maitresses de ce savant. Je crois ne pas me 
tromper en disant que I'originalite de I'Eveque consistait 
en sa predilection constante pour les questions difficiles. Ses 
livres, ses articles, ses revues sont pleins de suggestions in- 
attendues. II evitait les sentiers battus, mais il n'^tait pas 
paradoxal, car les problemes les plus ardus prenaient toujours 
pour lui un aspect pratique et moderne. Voici un exemple. 
Lorsque nous nous occupions de TEgypte, I'Eveque me faisait 
remarquer que nous ne savions pas quelle est exactement la 
croyance des Coptes. ' Est-il juste de les accuser d'heresie ? 
Sont-ils encore Monophysites au sens theorique attache a 
cette expression ? Et les Armeniens ? Rejettent-ils reelle- 
ment la foi qui nous est chere ? Et ces Assjnriens, restes d'une 
communaute autrefois si ardente pour les missions Chretiennes, 
sont-ils restes Nestoriens comme nous les appelons ? II faut 
savoir si ces Orientaux se rendent compte des opinions que 
nous leur attribuons. Les textes des historiens et les decrets 
des Conciles ne nous sufiisent plus.' Combien de fois ai-je 
ete le confident de perplexites semblables ! C'est meme, a 
mon avis, cette recherche des voies nouvelles qui donnait 
quelquefois a I'Eveque I'air un peu detache de ce qui I'en- 
tourait. II entendait les banalites sans impatience et jamais 
il ne perdait le fil d'une conversation, mais son esprit etait 
en proie k un labeur que personne ne soupgonnait. Rien 
n'arr^tait I'activite d'une intelligence qui, au milieu des pro- 
pos varies d'un salon ou pendant les discours plus ou moins 
eleves d'un meeting, fixait peut-etre la date du Concile de 

^ " Give rest, O Saviour, to the soul of thy servant with the spirits 
of just men made perfect, keeping it unto the blessed life that is from 
thee, O Lover of men." From the Order for Burial in the Orthodox 


Sardica ou disposait un arrangement plus methodique des 
Canons d'Hippolytus. 

" Comme I'Archeveque Benson, I'Eveque John Words- 
worth etait predestine pour I'etat ecclesiastique. En Orient, 
il serait devenu Patriarche ; a Rome, il aurait ete la gloire 
du Sacre College : hyevrjOrj Upevs, to iriraXov Trecj)op€K(i)s." ^ 

^ " A priest, wearing the ephod." Polycrates, speaking of St. John 
the Divine, in Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., v. 24, 3. 



The last years of the Bishop's life, in which, to the 
very end, there was to be no diminution of activity, 
were marked by an increase of directly spiritual under- 
takings. Such were the " effort of united prayer " for 
the winter of 1905-1906, which he urged the diocese to 
make in a public letter, and the Convention of Com- 
municants held at Salisbury in May, 1907. It was an 
impressive assembly. The Bishop presided, and during 
three days addresses were given by the Bishop of Oxford 
and other religious leaders. These were printed and 
published.^ Similar measures for the promotion of 
personal religion were taken under various forms in the 
years that followed. 

But the entrance into power of a Liberal Government 
in 1906 revived the controversy on elementary education, 
which had been asleep since 1902. There was no conceal- 
ment of the fact that the Bishop did not belong to the 
Liberal Party, but hitherto, except in regard to Home 
Rule which he regarded as a subject transcending politics, 
he had made no attempt to influence political thought 
in his diocese. From 1906 onwards, happily or unhappily, 
he conspicuously supported his side, in speeches and public 
letters stating the reasons which, as he thought, ought to 
determine the vote of Wilts and Dorset. In regard to 

1 Tht Christian Life. Addresses. Salisbury, Brown, 1907. 58 pp. 


education he had no choice. The new Government at 
once undertook to remould the system. He had been 
hopeful that they would produce an acceptable scheme, 
for he was convinced that a method of satisfying all 
just claims could be found, and he recognised the equity 
of some of the demands that were being made. But when 
the Liberal plan appeared he was constrained to write * : — 

" I am much cut down by Birrell's failure to produce (as 
most of us hoped) a reasonable Education Bill. It is clearly 
dictated, half of it by Dissenters and half by the Labour 
Party, and people threaten us, 'If you don't accept these 
terms you wiU have a purely secular system.' The Bill is 
really very much that already. It does away with all religious 
management, puts reUgious teaching outside regular school 
hours, and forbids regular teachers giving denominational 
teaching. In fact, we are on our way to be even as you are.2 
The indignation is very great, and if the Bill passes in anything 
Uke its present form, all hopes of friendly relations with Dis- 
senters are at an end for many a year. I sometimes think 
that God intends His Church to shrink to a small body with 
a much more intense life. But I think I am too old to square 
myself to it." 

This last anticipation was contrary to the Bishop's 
normal mode of thought ; he liked to dwell on the diffused 
influence of Christianity. 

He took his part in argument by delivering and pub- 
lishing three lectures 3 on " The Place of Religion in Educa- 
tion," " Religious Liberty and the Law of Trusts," and 
" Practical Proposals." As was his wont, he went much 
deeper than the needs of the moment required ; in parti- 
cular, he discoursed learnedly on the influence of his 
predecessor in the fourteenth century. Bishop Waltham, 
on the development of the English law of trusts. He 

1 To Bishop Wallis, 20t]i April, 1906. 

^ 7.1?. in New Zealand. 

* The Education Question. Salisbury, Bennett, 1906. 75 pp. 8vo. 


also took an active part in the proceedings in Parliament. 
On the 2nd November he wrote to Bishop Wallis : — 

" I have spent great part of the last fortnight in the House 
of Lords. I hope some of our work will stand. The first 
clause was enlarged to make it a condition that some portion 
of the school hours of every day must be set apart for religious 
instruction — ^we could not say ' Christian ' because we wished 
to include Jews. We have passed other amendments fixing 
the time to at least a clear half-hour for our own teaching, and 
opening the schools which are at present our own to such 
teaching ^ daily, and making some improvement in rural 
schools. Lord Balfour of Burleigh delivered a fine speech in 
favour of universal facilities, but the Whig feeling on the 
Unionist side displayed by the Duke of Devonshire and Lord 
St. Aldwyn and Lord Jersey prevented us from carrying it ; 
i.e. it was withdrawn for fear of being lost or carried only by 
a small majority. ... I should not be quite surprised if 
after aU the BiU were withdrawn and a simple Bill to relieve 
passive resisters substituted for this year. I have got an 
amendment (for Monday) to keep alive Voluntary Schools 
Associations as Associations of Managers. I don't see how 
or why the Government can oppose it, but I am afraid they 

The clause of which he speaks was actually accepted 
by Lord Crewe and passed by the Lords on the 3rd 
December ; but the Bill came to nothing. Of an equally 
unsuccessful Bill two years later he writes to the same 
friend, Bishop Wallis 2 : — 

" There is httle, I suppose, since you left except the 
throwing out of the Licensing Bill by the Lords (though about 
nineteen Bishops voted for the second reading) and the with- 
drawal of the Education Bill — an event of which I am credited 
with being the author, though by others scouted as a traitor 
to the sacred cause. Of course, Runciman and Asquith 
took up my amendments (not proposed or debated, but simply 

1 I.e. by Nonconformists. * 31st December, 1908. 


tabled) at the Representative Church Council as an excuse 
for dropping what they could not get Dissenters and (I fear) 
teachers to agree to. However, some progress has been made 
towards a settlement on a reasonable basis." 

After this time education, as far as the Bishop is 
concerned, falls into the background, and the acceptable 
solution of the problem has not yet been discovered. Of 
practical difficulty there had been none in his diocese ; 
in no part of England was there so little " passive 

In 1907 he was convener of a sub-committee of 
the Upper House of the Canterbury Convocation, which 
was appointed to draw up a " Historical Memorandum 
on the Ornaments of the Church and its Ministers." This 
grew into a substantial pamphlet,^ of which just half 
was composed by the Bishop. He wrote Chapter I., 
" Historical Sketch of the Origin, Development, and 
Symbolism of Liturgical Costume " ; Chapter III., " The 
Ornaments of a Bishop in the Church of England " ; and 
Appendix B, "Chronological List of Effigies of Anglican 
Bishops from a.d. 1547 to 1907." Of these, from Goodrich 
of Ely to Ridding of Southwell, he succeeded in dis- 
covering exactly a hundred. The whole report, in which 
he revised the parts he did not write, is a work of practical 
and antiquarian usefulness. In 1908 he received the 
honorary degree of LL.D. at Cambridge. 2 

1 Westminster National Society, 1908. 120 pp. 8vo. 

* The Public Orator, Dr. (now Sir John) Sandys, presented him as 
follows: " Londinium linquimus ; ruris remoti ad urbem episcopalem 
deinceps properamus, cuius a nomine quondam nuncupabatur vir quidam 
doctissimus, episcopus Carnotensis, loannes Saresburiensis. loannem 
Saresburiensem alterum, episcopum doctissimum, hodie iubemus 
salvere, qui ordinum sacrorum Anglicanorum validitatem oratione 
Latina quondam eruditissime defendit, ecclesiae Christianae in historia 
exploranda Ennii olim sui laudatione non indignus : — ' multa tenens 
antiqua sepulta.' Idem abhinc annos plus quam viginti Testamenti 
Novi Latinam editionem Hieronymianam edendam sumpsit, partemque 


At this point it will be well to mention his guidance 
of the efforts for the spiritual and moral welfare of the 
soldiers, whose settlements on Salisbury Plain and, on 
a smaller scale, on the heaths of South Dorset, have done 
much to change the character of the diocese. Successive 
Governments have not been generous, though they have 
relieved voluntary subscribers, who were Churchmen, 
of the cost of maintaining the soldiers' institutes, after 
these, founded at the cost of the benevolent, had proved 
their usefulness. But the work of church building has 
fallen, in the main, on the diocese of Salisbury, and the 
erection of St. Michael's Church at Tidworth was Bishop 
Wordsworth's last exertion in that kind. Since his 
death it has been completed in his memory. The life of 
the soldier, ideally regarded, with its discipline and its 
self-surrender, was one after his heart. 

In the summer of 1908 came the Pan-Anglican Con- 
gress in which the Bishop took part. He wrote about it 
to a cousin ^ : — 

" The Pan- Anglican Congress was really helpful and im- 
pressive. There was something to criticise as to the defect 
of previous introduction to speakers, so as to make them keep 
to the prescribed subjects and make them work in to one 
another. But all the other details were well arranged. The 
meetings in the Albert Hall and in St. Paul's were extra- 
ordinarily impressive, and the general tone and kindliness of 
the speaking very delightful. An absence of the sense of 
sin was, I think, observable ; but no undue magniloquence 
as to the Anglican Communion. In fact, we realised its 

priorem postea felicibus auspiciis Victoriae Reginae dedicavit, opere 
in tanto adomando etiam Bentleii et aliorum philologorum nostrorum 
laboribus diligenter usus. 

" Duco ad vos dominum admodum reverendum, Ioannem Words- 
worth, alumnorum nostrorum illustrium et filium et nepotem, CoUegii 
sui inter Oxonienses quondam socium insignem, episcopum Saras - 
buriensem." [Orationes et Epistolae Cantabrigienses, p. 221.) Dublin 
had given him the LL.D. degree in 1890. 

^ Sister Charlotte (Wordsworth), 28th June, 190S. 

2 A 


smallness rather than its greatness. Our diocese, thank God, 
did well in the money thankoffering ; more than 5^^. per 
head of the total population. I doubt if any other did so 
well in proportion." 

The Congress was followed by the Lambeth Conference. 
In it he was appointed convener of a committee of fifty- 
seven Bishops on " Reunion and Intercommunion." 
Of seven sub-committees which it formed to carry out its 
task he was convener of three, those on the Scandi- 
navians, the Presbyterians, and on " General Questions." 
The work was laborious, and must have needed tact as 
well as industry. The Bishop's fitness for the second and 
third of these inquiries is obvious ; the first was not new 
to him, and it was to be the chief employment of his last 
years. The Church of Sweden had already attracted 
attention in England. There had been courteous 
approaches on both sides, and a constitutional experiment 
had been made in Sweden which furnished an instructive 
example of what might be possible in England. In 1863 
the authority of the State over the Church, which is 
general in Lutheran countries, had been surrendered. 
The Church, retaining its endowments and its national 
position, became self-governing. A Church Council, 
consisting of sixty members, half clerical and half lay, is 
the governing body. The twelve Bishops are officially 
members, and the Archbishop of Upsala is president. 
The other clerical members and all the laymen are elected. 
The Bishop of Salisbury had not stood alone in drawing 
public attention to this scheme, as he had done in 1902. 
But there was a further reason for English interest. While 
the three Scandinavian Churches are equally Episcopal, 
only one has retained the ancient succession of its Bishops. 
In Sweden the Bishops derive their orders from Petrus 
Magni, who had been confirmed and consecrated at Rome 
in 1524 by the authority of Clement VII., and afterwards 


took part in introducing into his country the Lutheran 
reformation. If the episcopate has been continuous, its 
maintenance has been due quite as much to constitutional 
as to theological considerations, and the Swedish Bishops 
have recognised those of Norway and Denmark as equally 
authoritative with themselves. And in general, though 
the Swedish Church has marked characteristics and a 
history peculiar to itself, it has never disclaimed fellow- 
ship with other Lutheran communions and its theology 
has been coloured by that of Germany, for Swedish 
students have in large numbers resorted to the German 

The Primate of this Church, the Archbishop of Upsala, 
sent a Latin letter of greeting to the Lambeth Conference 
of 1908 by the hands of the Bishop of Kalmar, Dr. H. W. 
Tottie, himself of English descent. Bishop Tottie was 
received by the Conference, and is the only speaker, not 
an Anglican Bishop, who has ever addressed it in full 
session. Thus the subject of the Swedish Church came 
prominently before the Conference, and it was necessary 
that some public step should be taken. It was not enough 
that a Committee (necessarily in private) should examine 
witnesses, the Bishop of Kalmar and others. Though 
important evidence, which served as the starting-point 
of further inquiries, was collected, the Conference deter- 
mined that there must be a public and formal exchange 
of information. Its 74th resolution was : — 

" This Conference heartily thanks the Archbishop of 
Upsala for his letter of friendly greeting, and for sending his 
honoured colleague, the Bishop of Kalmar, to confer with its 
members on the establishment of an alliance of some sort 
between the Swedish and Anglican Churches. The Conference 
respectfully desires the Archbishop of Canterbury to appoint 
a Commission to correspond further with the Swedish Church 
through the Archbishop of Upsala on the possibility and con- 
ditions of such an alliance." 


Of this Commission the Bishop of Salisbury doubtless 
anticipated that he would be a member. He was already 
engaged in mastering Swedish Church history, and was 
doing his best to awaken public interest in England and 
to show the Swedes that English feeling toward them was 
warm. In July, 1908, the Bishop of Kalmar came to 
Salisbury and addressed a meeting at the Palace on the 
past services of England to his country. He told how 
Siegfrid of York, about the year 1000, had settled as a 
missionary in Sweden and founded the see of Wexio.^ 
In September he was followed by Professor Soderblom, 
now Archbishop of Upsala in succession to Dr. Ekman, 
who had written the letter to the Lambeth Conference. 

The Commission was appointed in March, 1909, and 
none of its members can have been more active than the 
Bishop of Salisbury. 2 After meetings in England, and 
the accumulation of further knowledge, the party pro- 
ceeded to Sweden in the autumn of 1909.^ They were 

* Bishop Wordsworth's youngest child, born on St. Andrew's 
Day, 1 910, was christened Andrew Siegfrid. 

^ The Bishop of Winchester (Dr. Ryle) was chairman. The others, 
beside the Bishop of Salisbury, were Bishop Mott Williams, of Marquette, 
U.S.A., Dr. A. J. Mason, Canon of Canterbury, and then also Vice- 
Chancellor of Cambridge University and Master of Pembroke College, 
and Chancellor E. R. Bernard of Salisbury Cathedral. Dr. Ingram, 
the Bishop of London, was appointed, but did not act. The report 
of the Commission, dated 25th January, 191 1, was published in that 
year under the title The Church of England and the Church of 
Sweden. London : Mowbray. 

^ The share of the Bishop in the visit to Germany paid by a number 
of clergy and other representatives of various religious bodies in the 
summer of 1909 deserves notice. The party went in the interest of 
national good will, and were most heartily welcomed. The Bishop, 
among others, was received by the German Emperor ; they had already 
met and conversed at Jerusalem in 1898, when a great German Church 
was being consecrated at the same time as the English Cathedral of 
St. George. At one of the meetings at Berlin, on the 13th June, the 
Bishop gave addresses both in German and English. He was deeply 
impressed by the great institutions for the epileptic and afflicted 
founded by Pastor Bodelschwingh at Bielefeld. 


accompanied by ladies, including Mrs. Wordsworth, and 
were everywhere welcomed. They entered the Scandi- 
navian countries at Copenhagen, where on the 19th 
September, a luncheon was given in their honour, at 
which the Bishop spoke briefly, saying that their object 
was " an alliance against rationalism and Roman 
autocracy." In the evening he addressed a meeting of 
about two hundred : — 

" I spoke about three-quarters of an hour slowly in English. 
After introduction I spoke of our Church as being like theirs 
as episcopal, liturgical, evangelical. I explained that with 
certain differences there was much similarity. I insisted on 
the value of Confirmation in our way as bringing the Bishop 
into personal touch with so many parishes and people every 
year. All agreed that there is an objective gift of the Holy 
Ghost to faithful receivers. No controversy with us as to 
requirements from young people, since it is voluntary. [There 
is such a controversy in Denmark, where Confirmation is 
practically obligatory at fourteen, which has led to the adop- 
tion of an alternative form in which no question is asked of 
the children ; only the Pastor explains the Creed.] We also 
dwell on two sides of the rite : (i) it is an ordination to lay 
priesthood ; (2) a consecration of the body. I spoke of the 
value of our Prayer-book catechism and collects. I always 
desired our young clergy to have a copy in their pockets. 
As to ' evangelical,' I explained that it meant trying to 
respond to new needs in new Gospel ways ; e.g. we had 
frankly adopted the method of the Salvation Army in our 
Church Army ; poor men and women preach and minister 
to the poor. Also our C.E.M.S., W.U., G.F.S., etc." 

The Bishop's impression of the Danish Church was that 
it was " generally orthodox, but not much leaning to 
' Catholic ' doctrine or practice. Grundtvig's party has 
weakened respect for Bishops." ^ 

^ Extracts from the very full diary kept by the Bishop during 
this expedition. 


From Copenhagen they passed to Upsala, postponing 
further visits till the Conference with the representatives 
of the Swedish Church should have been held. The story 
of the meeting and the names of the Swedes who were 
present may be read in the published report. The Swedish 
Church is eminently a scholarly one. The Archbishop 
and six of the twelve Bishops had been University Pro- 
fessors ; all the chief speakers on the Swedish side in the 
discussion could speak English. The debate at Upsala 
lasted for three days. It was found that of the four points 
in the " Lambeth quadrilateral " three were clearly held 
equally by either side. The inquiry, therefore, was con- 
fined to the ministry of the two Churches. The Swedes 
had questions to ask. They wished to know about Barlow 
and Parker, and the reasons why Rome rejects English 
Orders. On the other hand, the English divines wished 
to be satisfied as to the Swedish succession, and the inten- 
tion of the Swedish Church in conferring episcopate and 
priesthood, together with the method and form of their 
ordination. There were ambiguous points, but they were 
successfully explained, and the Conference ended, in 
Bishop Wordsworth's words, " with many mutual expres- 
sions of gratitude, affection, good will, and hopefulness." 
On the last day the Bishop of Winchester laid a wreath 
on the grave, before the Cathedral altar, of Laurentius 
Petri, the first Protestant Archbishop of Upsala, who had 
been consecrated in 1531 by Petrus Magni, himself con- 
secrated at Rome. 

When their immediate task was over the English 
party broke up, and the Bishop of Salisbury applied 
himself to learn as much as possible in eleven days. The 
Swedish Church and its ancient customs, its chasubles 
and altar-lights, its collects drawn from the old service- 
books, and its stately music ; on the other hand, its 
Lutheran peculiarities, its abandonment of the diaconate 


and of Confirmation ; its tendencies of thought, sometimes 
such as the Bishop preferred, sometimes dogmatically 
Lutheran or evangelically undenominational ; all these 
points were observed and recorded. Conversing with 
Bishops and pastors at every opportunity and visiting 
parishes in town and country, he made himself acquainted 
with the financial state of the clergy, their methods of 
work, their advantages and their difficulties. He visited 
both Universities, Lund as well as Upsala, and it is need- 
less to say that at Stockholm he examined the famous 
manuscripts, the Aureus and the Gigas. After a tour 
through much of Southern Sweden, in the course of 
which acquaintance was made with members of the royal 
family and many other persons of distinction, the Bishop 
and Mrs. Wordsworth left the country for England on the 
4th October. 

Three months later the Commission had drawn up 
and published its report, and the Bishop must have 
thought that his work in regard to Sweden was at an end. 
In fact, it was only beginning. There had been good 
reason for the inclusion of a Bishop whose diocese lay on 
the banks of Lake Superior in the Commission. In his 
State of Michigan and in those contiguous to it almost a 
quarter of the Swedish race is resident, and problems in 
regard to their relation with Episcopalians are pressing, 
Swedes of one type, that which values the historical pre- 
sentation of the Christian faith, had often, and for many 
generations, been drawn towards our Church, which 
actually has congregations in the United States which once 
were Swedish, and others, of more recent foundation, in 
whose services the Swedish language is used. But the 
great majority of the American Swedes are less churchly 
than their countrymen at home. They have never had 
Bishops, and do not, it seems, wish to have them. They 
could only obtain them from Sweden, and the request 


would seem an act of subordination to which they are not 
willing to stoop. Hence, though the American Swedes 
regard themselves as in communion with the Church of 
their home, there is a certain difficulty when the leaders 
of our Church in the United States have occasion to 
co-operate with those of Churches — for the Swedes there 
are divided into several bodies, though all profess allegiance 
to the standards of the Church of Sweden — which are 
contentedly unepiscopalian. Nor is this difficulty confined 
to Anglicans ; it is felt in Sweden itself, where, by a curious 
compromise, a clergyman in the orders of one of these 
Lutheran Swedish bodies of America is allowed to serve 
as an assistant curate, but may not hold a benefice. 

In the prairie States, then, there is a practical difficulty, 
and there was reason for thinking that a clear statement 
of historical facts might help to clear up an ambiguous 
situation. Obviously no one was more competent to 
make it than the Bishop of Salisbury, and there was a 
convenient occasion for inviting him. In 1900 Bishop 
C. R. Hale, of Cairo, Coadjutor of Springfield in the State 
of Illinois, had endowed by his will a lecture at the 
Western Theological Seminary in Chicago, the duties of 
which resembled those of the Bampton lecturer at 
Oxford. One of the topics that might be treated accord- 
ing to the terms of the trust was " National Churches." 
The authorities of the Seminary used the opportunity to 
ask Bishop Wordsworth, on the loth December, 1909, 
to lecture on the subject he was making his own. He 
accepted at once, and was soon able to write to Bishop 
Wallis 1 :— 

" I have got quite a big Swedish library, and only want 
concentrated energy and time to work at it. I am getting a 
good idea of the Swedish character, which is a comparatively 
simple one to describe if not to comprehend — proud, sensitive, 

1 24th March, 1910. 


and self-contained, disliking pretence but somewhat con- 
ventional, courteous and hospitable, and ready to take in 
foreign ideas, but very tenacious and conservative, somewhat 
sensual and materialistic, but loving country ways and country 
life and homeliness ; in fact, having many qualities which 
seem rather opposite to one another and yet are very natural 
and spontaneous with it all ; practical at once and dreamy, 
loving peace and war alike. 

" But how to summarise their religious history in six 
lectures ! The idea rather oppresses me, and I shall get tired 
of it before I have done." 

The lectures were to be delivered in the last week of 
October, and it was from the first intended that they should 
form a book, or at least be its groundwork. Speed, 
therefore, was necessary, for though the Bishop had 
worked out for himself a sketch of Swedish Church 
history for the purposes of the Lambeth Committee and 
of the visit to Sweden, it was in the form of rough notes 
and was incomplete and unverified. He set to work 
systematically to acquire a working library on the subject, 
and made himself for reading purposes familiar with the 
language. The rapidity with which he picked it up was 
remarkable in a man past middle life, but the striking 
thing was not the achievement in itself but rather the 
grasp of language m general that made it possible, and 
even easy. It would, indeed, have been strange if a 
Teutonic tongue had held difficulties for him. The pre- 
paration for the lectures could not, from the nature of 
the case, include any research, in the strict sense of the 
word. Yet it would be untrue to describe the result as 
a compilation. The Bishop had no time to do more than 
ascertain what were the most authoritative books upon 
his subject, to master them and select what he needed, 
and verify doubtful points either by inquiry from com- 
petent scholars or else (though rarely) by investigations 


of his own. This work was successfully done, for his 
wide knowledge of history taught him what were the 
questions that needed to be asked ; and he not only 
secured accuracy, but actually in some cases added to 
knowledge by the inquiries he instituted. The collection 
of his books was itself an undertaking of some moment. 
Since the Bishop's death this portion of his library has 
been given to that of the Archbishops at Lambeth Palace. 
There were greater libraries that were very willing to 
receive it. 

Before the Bishop left England, a great part of 
his lectures was in print. This was far from the whole 
of his literary work for the year 1910. He edited again 
his Bishop Sarapion's Prayer-hook,^ he revised for a 
second edition his Invocation of Saints,'^ and published 
the third edition, revised and enlarged, of his Holy Com- 
munion.^ It was inevitable in the circumstances, but 
most unfortunate, that he should fail to do justice to 
this important work. The additions are valuable, and 
the original text has lost nothing of its merit, but he could 
not fully incorporate the recent accumulations of know- 
ledge nor so recast the work as to give it the symmetry 
it deserves. One more event of the year must be men- 
tioned. An Ordinatorum Conventus was held from the 
6th to the gth June, when most of those whom he had 
admitted to Holy Orders during the twenty-five years 
of his episcopate assembled at Salisbury for religious 
intercourse. Among those whom he had ordained were 
Dr. Pollock, the present Bishop of Norwich, Dr. West- 
cott, lately Bishop of Lahore, the Archdeacons of Brecon, 
Warwick, and Wilts, ^ and Father Dolling. 

The Bishop sailed from Southampton on the 15th 

1 In the series " Early Church Classics," of the S.P.C.K. 
^ S.P.C.K. ^ Longmans. 

* Messrs. Bevan, Peile, and Bodington. 


September and landed at New York on the 21st, his 
sixty-seventh and last birthday. He had come with a 
double duty. Knowing that he was to lecture at Chicago, 
the Bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church had 
invited him to preach at the Annual Convention which 
was to be held at Cincinnati at the beginning of October. 
He therefore landed in the United States in a public 
capacity, and his name also drew attention to his visit. 
But among the journalists who buzzed around him were 
some to whom his name and style were unfamiliar. ' ' Lord 
Bishop John Wadsworth of Salisbury " was one descrip- 
tion ; in others his city was " Salesbury." But the lord- 
ship was an obsession of the reporter's mind.^ " The Lord 
Bishop " would occur in sentence after sentence ; " Lord 
Bishop comes to Boston " was conspicuous in one news- 
paper. " Newspapers without news " was one of his 
list of "Things different in U.S.A.," together with 
squirrels in city parks, dark churches always needing 
artificial light, and general politeness and universal 
helpfulness to strangers. Many strange things were 
alleged about him ; for instance, that he was the greatest 
Latinist in Europe, the evidence being that he had once 
written a letter in Latin to the Pope. He was perhaps 
a difficult case, for he was not submissive to the reporters, 
one of whom was reduced to commenting on the incon- 
gruity of steel rims to the spectacles of a Lord Bishop. 
But none of them equalled that secretary of an English 
Free Church Council who in 1909 addressed him as 
" John Salem, Esquire." 

The Bishop was accompanied to America by the last and 
most gifted of his domestic chaplains, Mr. J. S. S. Johnston ,2 

1 I am told that there is an impression in America that "Lord 
Bishop " is a grade in the Anglican hierarchy between Archbishop and 

2 John Samuel Spence Johnston had taken the highest honours at 
Trinity College, Dublin, and was ordained in 1905 to the Curacy of St. 


from whose notes the record of this American journey will 
chiefly be made. Mr. Johnston, after mentioning the 
two objects of the Bishop, writes : — 

" The purpose of the tour would not be adequately described 
without some reference to a deeper motive which touched and 
fired the Bishop's imagination and gave to this invitation from 
the New World almost the nature of a Divine call. All through 
his life, but much more in his later years, he had come to 
regard it as a special vocation that he should be a minister of 
' unity and fellowship ' among the nations and Churches of 
the world. In this office of ambassador and peace-maker 
he had made many journeys and visited many countries ; it 
was his conviction that only through personal contact and 
mutual knowledge would the Christian peoples throughout the 
world gradually move towards some form of reunion. He 
often spoke of this dream and desire, so deep in his heart, 
of drawing the peoples of the world together and of helping 
them to furnish their own special contributions to the common 
fund of humanity. To one who so felt his own vocation it 
may easily be imagined how this call from America would 
appeal. His casual words would often reveal the imaginative 
framework in which he viewed this undertaking. It was to 
him no pleasure trip or exchange of ecclesiastical courtesies ; 
it was a step towards his ideal. He felt himself the bearer of 
a message from the Old World to the New, the representative 
of a historic Church and an ancient see carrying a benediction 
to a land of hope. Throughout his tour he seemed to be 
always viewing his labours and travels in this light. He felt 
the responsibility of his mission, and saw his own brief sojourn 
against a background of larger meaning. 

" During the first nine days of our tour we stayed at New 
York, where we made our home at Trinity Rectory, and all 
that kindness and thought could do for our comfort and 
enjoyment was done by our kind host and hostess. Dr. and 

Peter's, Croydon. In 1909 he became resident Chaplain at Salisbury. 
After Bishop Wordsworth's death he was collated by his successor to the 
Vicarage of Broadstone, Dorset, where he died in 1914 at the age of 36. 
He was author of The Philosophy of the Fourth Gospel, 1909, and would 
have made his mark as a thoughtful theologian had he lived. 


Mrs. Manning. From there we paid short visits to Philadelphia 
and Washington. On our first Sunday in America the Bishop 
preached in the historic Trinity Church in New York. There 
was an immense congregation, many of the general public 
being attracted by the magic name of Wordsworth. The 
Bishop's sermon did not aim at producing any dramatic effect ; 
indeed, throughout the tour he seemed almost deliberately 
to throw cold water on would-be honisers and hero-worshippers, 
and he must thereby have produced some disappointment in 
lovers of the picturesque and dramatic. Yet he could not 
spoil the natural impressiveness of his bearing and utterance, 
and he was listened to with marked attention in Trinity 
Church by a congregation which included many of the leaders 
of American life. The sermon ^ showed that though he was 
the bearer of a message from the Old World he had already 
grasped some salient characteristics of the New. He uttered 
wise and teUing words of warning against the impatience of 
modern life, the love of ' short cuts ' which showed itself in 
so many ways ; in the devices to avoid pain and labour, in the 
desire rapidly to attain wealth by speculation. He showed 
the same tendency at work in those who, not content with 
the conviction of a patient faith, try by a short cut to pierce 
through to the unseen by means of spiritualism or theosophy. 
'We want,' he said, 'to bring everything from the moon 
downwards within the reach of a single effort.' This was 
his first public utterance in New York, and many of his dicta 
were quoted and requoted in the American press." 

In New York the Bishop was met with almost an excess 
of hospitality. Eminent men in all departments of life 
met him at dinner ; among others Admiral Mahan, to 
whom he discoursed about the nautical experiences 
of Synesius. He lectured on his special topics at 
several Colleges, and of course viewed the great libraries 
with peculiar interest. He had a long interview with 
Archbishop Platon, the head of the Orthodox Church in 
North America. From New York he went to Boston, 

1 Its subject was " Christlike discipline of the will." 


and thence to Albany, where he found the Cathedral 
" really beautiful ; fine pink stone, Lombardic in archi- 
tecture." Bishop Doane of that city was an old and dear 

" From Albany," Mr. Johnston continues, " we travelled 
with a party of Bishops in great luxury, on the late Mr. Pier- 
pont Morgan's special train, to Cincinnati, where the General 
Convention of the American Church was to be held. At 
Cincinnati we were guests of Mr. Charles P. Taft, brother of 
the late President. ^ The Bishop delivered the opening address 
to the Convention in the Music Hall, to an audience of 5000. 
The Cincinnati Times-Star described the service as ' the 
most solemn, convincing, and triumphant of aU the many 
historic events which the old Hall has sheltered.' While 
the general public might have preferred something rather 
more racy and highly spiced the delegates were deeply im- 
pressed. The subject was our Lord's cleansing of the Temple. 
Perhaps rather too much time was given to the textual exposi- 
tion of the incident, but the application to present-day con- 
ditions was penetrating and practical, especially when the 
Bishop came to deal with the serious problems of family life 
and divorce in America. He had been staggered by the con- 
dition of things he found, and in the most earnest way he 
pleaded with this great and representative congregation to 
throw their influence into the task of ' re-creating the family 
and making it an image of the Church.' There were cha- 
racteristic passages such as this : — 

" ' Women, we are told in the old fable, love power most 
of all. But I believe they love far more to be joint-partners 
with a will more powerful than their own. Give way to your 
wives in little things, but let your will prevail in great ones. 
You will not lose, but gain their love.' 

" The question of the reunion of the various Christian 
bodies was perhaps the dominant subject discussed at the 

^ The Bishop made careful notes of Mr. Taft's collection of paintings 
by the Masters, and of the methods employed in printing his newspaper, 
the Times-Star. At Mr. Taft's home, as at Trinity Rectory, he met 
many distinguished Americans. 


Convention, and the matter was pressed forward with great 
enthusiasm. The Bishop gave wise counsel in his opening 
address : — 

" 'We must labour to clear away barriers that separate 
Christians from one another, but must prepare the way with 
caution and gentleness. The Church is not a single building 
on a small plot of ground, but, like Heaven, it has many 
mansions. All who have had to do with the housing problem 
know how much mischief may be done by the sudden removal 
of small and narrow dwellings, which yet are familiar homes, 
and the substitution for them of a great block of tenements 
with the most modern sanitary appliances. Our Church life 
is too domestic, too intimate, too sacred to be suddenly 
transformed into a vast international, interdenominational 
club-house. We must, therefore, work at the problem with self- 
denial and reserve. But we must give our energies definitely 
and decisively to those parts of it where opportunity seems 
most to lead us on.' 

" In spite of these counsels of prudence and reserve the 
Bishop took a very hopeful view of the prospects of Christian 
reunion in America, especially since a Comtoission was 
appointed by the Convention to organise a Conference ' for 
the consideration of questions of Faith and Order,' and a 
resolution was carried that ' all Christian communions through- 
out the world which confess our Lord Jesus Christ as God and 
Saviour be asked to unite in arranging for and conducting 
such a Conference.' The Bishop felt very strongly that the 
Episcopal Church in America had a great part to play in this 
movement ; for with its historic basis and its solid institutions 
it seemed to be a natural rallying-point amid the fluctuations 
of many denominations. Further observation convinced him 
that the moral position of the Episcopal Church was much 
stronger than the small number of its adherents might lead 
one to suppose." 

The Bishop's own account of the day runs : — 

" Wednesday, 5th October, Cincinnati. 7.30 a.m. Holy 
Communion at St. Paul's Cathedral, a poor building for such 
a purpose, full of Bishops and delegates. About ninety-seven 


Bishops and seven hundred delegates attend the Convention ; 
four clergymen and four laymen from each diocese. 

" 10.30 preached after short Morning Prayer at the Music 
Hall in Elm Street. Intensely hot. The rain continued nearly 
all day. Slipped off chimere and scarf in the pulpit. Preached 
on ' Our Lord as a Reformer.' I had finished the MS. on the 
previous day. Mr. Taft had it printed and sent me a proof 
in slips, to which I added a little, and the whole was being sold 
as an evening paper at 11.30, while I was preaching. I cut 
out a good deal in delivery, but it took about an hour. Of 
course in such a place it had to be slowly dehvered." 

The damp heat which the Bishop mentions prevailed 
during most of his visit. Before he had been a week 
in the United States he was feeling weary. He was 
preaching every Sunday, he delivered learned lectures in 
several Colleges, and an impromptu address seems to have 
been expected whenever he examined some institution. 
He was travelling constantly by train, seeing all that he 
could and entering into conversation with all from whom 
he could learn or with whom he found some link of associa- 
tion. Most tiring of all must have been the hospitable 
dinners at which, night after night, he had to hold his own 
with men gifted in many ways. It is no wonder that a 
friendly physician had insisted that a considerable share 
of the few hours he devoted to Washington should be 
given to rest. References, continuous though not em- 
phatic, to his weariness and the discomfort of the heat 
are found throughout the Bishop's notes. 

" From Cincinnati," Mr. Johnston continues, " we tra- 
velled to Sewanee in the State of Tennessee. At Sewanee 
is the University of the South, which the Bishop had been 
urgently pressed to visit. This visit he regarded as the most 
delightful part of his American tour. The University of the 
South is a Church institution, planned before the Civil War 
broke out and finally brought into being by Bishop Quintard 
in 1866. It is rich in memories of the great leaders of the 


South, and Dr. Du Bose, the most famous of its teachers, 
fought in the Confederate Army and had many perilous 
adventures before he settled down to a professorship. The 
little University has had a romantic history. Unhke many 
others in America it has had no large endowments. It has had 
to fight its way through great difficulties ; it has only lived 
through the loyalty and self-sacrifice of its members, both 
teachers and students. Many of its lecturers have given their 
services almost for nothmg, and have refused offers of lucrative 
work elsewhere. In this mountain retreat there lives on the 
spirit of the old South, purified and refined through years of 
hardship and struggle. 

" Though it lay far out of his route and meant a long and 
trying journey, the Bishop had resolved to visit Sewanee. The 
little town is set on a spur of the Cumberland Mountains, 
some two thousand feet above sea-level. We looked forward 
to our visit to this bracing altitude after the rather close and 
relaxing climate of Cincinnati. The latter part of our journey, 
from NashviUe to Sewanee,^ was slow but full of interest, 
and we had the pleasant company of Bishop Gailor to while 
away the time as we steamed through cotton-fields and passed 
the quiet graveyards of the Civil War. There is a wonderful 
succession of glorious views as the little railway climbs round 
the shoulders of the hills. At last we reached Sewanee, and 
the Bishop was amply repaid for the tedium of the journey 
by the charm of the place and the welcome of its residents. 
The home of the University is one of the most picturesque 
spots that can be imagined. The buildings of red sandstone, 
dotted here and there among the trees, are a pleasant relief 
after the painful monotony of the typical American city. 
Unhappily the mosquitoes to some extent spoiled the charm. 
Sleep was difficult ; the heat had been taxing the Bishop's 
strength and he was growing very tired. He lectured on the 
Baptismal Creed in the Theological School, and celebrated 
the Holy Communion in the College Chapel, being, I beheve, 
the first Enghsh Bishop to perform that of&ce in Sewanee. He 
found himself in cordial sympathy with the ideals of the place. 
Its air of peaceful industry and quiet culture were after his 

1 A private car had again been put at the Bishop's service. 

2 B 


own heart, and long conversations with the veteran theologian, 
Dr. Du Bose, added greatly to his pleasure, 

" Next we visited Nashville, where the Bishop preached 
on the Sunday in a crowded church. There, as elsewhere in 
the South, the Bishop was almost overwhelmed by the warmth 
of the welcome he received. The attachment of the people in 
the Southern States to English traditions, religious as well as 
social and civil, was a revelation to him, and drew forth the 
remark on more than one occasion that he feared our dis- 
tinguished English visitors had treated the South with less than 
due respect in confining their tours almost exclusively to the 
great cities of the Northern States. 

" From Sewanee we went to Chicago, where we were guests 
in the friendly home of Bishop Anderson. Here began the 
Bishop's special opportunities of making acquaintance with the 
Swedish settlers who are numerous in the States of Illinois, 
Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin. In company with Bishop 
G. Mott Williams, of Marquette, he visited the Augustana 
College, Rock Island, on the Mississippi, about two hundred 
miles west of Chicago. It is the spiritual centre of the greatest 
Swedish Church in America, the Augustana Synod, which is 
generally regarded as the daughter Chruch of the National 
Church of Sweden. After a very pleasant visit to the beautiful 
city of Minneapolis, the Bishop returned to Chicago, where two 
Sundays were spent, and the lectures on the Church of Sweden 
were delivered on the six nights of the intervening week." 

These Western journeys, made by night, were a further 
strain, but private conference with Swedish leaders was 
a primary purpose of the whole visit to America. At 
Rock Island the theological professors were found in 
lay attire, while the clergy of Sweden are scrupulously 
professional in their clothing. And this external differ- 
ence seems to have symbolised an interior difference of 
sympathies. Rock Island was less ecclesiastical than 
Upsala. A long and candid discussion was held, and the 
Bishop thought at the end that " we had done some good." 
Minneapolis, a great commercial city with large Swedish 


congregations, was also visited with the purpose of making 
acquaintance with their leading clergy. The Hale Lectures, 
delivered in the evenings of the week from the 24th to 
the 2gth October, to an audience which ranged between 
seventy and a hundred, were a further strain. The 
weather was sultry and rain was continuous. St. James's 
Church, Chicago, in which they were given, was so near 
to trains and tramways that not a window could be 
opened. On Sunday morning, the 30th, the Bishop 
preached in Chicago Cathedral. He spent the night, much 
exhausted, in the train on the way to Buffalo. Next 
day, in the company of Bishop Walker, he visited Niagara, 
and in the evening addressed the annual council of the 
Girls' Friendly Society of the United States, then in 
session at Buffalo. Again he spent a night in the train 
to New York, and after two busy days, during which he 
inspected institutions and granted many interviews, he 
embarked on the Oceanic for Southampton. 

It is no wonder that Mr. Johnston should record that— 

"the Bishop was clearly much exhausted by the incessant 
strain. We had met with spells of excessive heat, and this, 
added to the fatigue of night travelling, told very much on 
the Bishop's strength. He seldom seemed to have had 
refreshing sleep, and the continual rush of American Hfe did 
not give opportunity for those quiet spaces of meditation by 
which he had always been able to refresh his spirit in his 
own land. In the earher part of the tour he was wonderfully 
vigorous, and in the long railway journey from Albany to 
Cincinnati he rather amazed his episcopal companions by 
writing the greater part of his Convention sermon ; certainly 
no one who reads it will find much to suggest hasty prepara- 
tion. But m the later part of his tour the Bishop was con- 
tinually tired, and almost on the verge of physical collapse. 
Yet he would not give in, and he carried out his programme to 
the last detail. 

" What impression the Bishop made in America it is not 


easy to say. He would not speak of himself or his own 
scholarship, or tell anecdotes of the poet. But those who came 
into close contact were clearly impressed by his absence of 
self-consciousness, his childlike humility, his interest in the 
details of household life, his transparent sincerity and warm- 
heartedness, and above all by his distinction and natural 
dignity. Once, at a dinner where a great number of American 
Bishops were present, the Bishop who sat next to me said, 
' I cannot define or analyse the quality your Bishop has. No 
one in the room is making less effort to shine than he. Yet 
if any one looked round the table, without knowing any of us, 
he would not have a moment's hesitation in saying, " There is 
the great man in this assembly." ' 

" As to the Bishop's impression of America and its people, 
the testimony is ample and unmistakable. What impressed, 
and indeed surprised him. was the kindhness and courtesy 
of the people he met in the streets and the trains. His verdict 
was that they were not only hospitable, generous, and con- 
siderate, but also a lovable people. It is surely a proof of 
his large -heartedness that he should have felt this towards 
a nation with whom one would have expected him, with 
his tastes and training and traditions, to have had little in 

" The other outstanding feature in the life of America that 
impressed him is one that may best be described m his own 
words, from an address delivered soon after his return : — 

" ' 1 think that every one would admit that the most 
remarkable feature of America is its growing homogeneity. 
Although there are still large isolated and rather reluctant 
nuclei of Germans and other foreign nationalities, parti- 
cularly Slavs of various kinds, as a rule they are becoming 
rapidly assimilated. The most obvious agency in this process 
are the " Public Schools," a term which includes both elemen- 
tary and high schools, which often lead up to State Universities 
where tuition is given free. This system of education has the 
great drawback of being in most cases purely secular,^ but it 

^ The Bishop was grieved to find that the State of Illinois had just 
pronounced the Lord's Prayer a " sectarian formula," and forbidden its 
use in the public schools. 


is difficult to see how any other system could have produced 
the desired effect of creating a nation under such circumstances. 
The results, however, in the looseness of the rehgious tie and 
in the consequent lack of respect for religious authority, are 
very grave. The Roman Catholics are credited with promoting 
this secularity in the State schools in order to justify their own 
position in keeping up separate schools. What is the cha- 
racter which is thus produced ? The formative and most 
influential element in it has been, on the whole, happily for 
the country, that of the Eastern States ; that is to say, an 
English character tinged with Puritanism, but now washed 
free from bigotry and prejudice. It stands for keenness in 
business and directness in speech, fairness especially towards 
differences of opinion, love of liberty and love of comfort ; 
and just now there is appearing a great passion for philanthropy 
as a substitute for religion. Material prosperity and a per- 
ception of the value of liberty in the formation of character 
have endowed the nation with remarkable good humour. 
Almost the last place we visited in America was Niagara. 
We both felt glad we had left it to the very end, for it seemed, 
better than anything else, to sum up the total impression. 
As one looked first at the turbulence and confusion and mad 
rush of the great waterfall, one seemed to see the true image 
of American life in its superficial aspect. But as one looked 
more closely, there were seen in the thick of the spray myriads 
of rainbows when the sun shone through. So, too, as one 
looked closer into the noise and confusion of American life, 
there might be seen also rainbows of hope and promise. . . . 
I can only say, in concluding my account of my visit, that I 
have come back to my own country with a heart deeply moved 
with thankfulness to dear friends on the other side of the 
Atlantic. I have found them courteous, generous, and lovable 
in the highest degree, and profoundly desirous of building up 
a great fabric of national hfe and national Christianity.' " 

The Bishop had travelled some 4500 miles in the train, 
and sorely needed rest. He found it in his ship. There 
seemed to be not merely recovery to his former state, 
but actually an advance beyond it. He landed at 


Southampton on the gth November, spent the night at 
home, and the next two days in Convocation, where, the 
Bishop of London said in welcoming him, he " burst 
upon them with the breeziness and enthusiasm of a boy." 
From this time onward his thoughts and utterances were 
full of the lessons he had learned in America. But for 
the present he was still immersed in his Swedish labours. 
His book was not published till the beginning of 1911 ; 
the preface is dated Christmas, 19 10. Before the volume 
appeared he had explained to his diocese ^ the possibilities 
of the future in regard to the Swedes of Europe and 
America : — 

" There are, I believe, about two million Swedes in the 
United States. The Swedes are a most valuable set of 
colonists. Their honesty and diligence, their love of religion 
to a certain point, and their many virtues make them most 
welcome citizens, and they amalgamate very swiftly with the 
Anglo-Saxon population ; but only one-quarter of them are 
attached to any religious body as actual members. If an 
alliance between the Church of America and the Church of 
Sweden in the mother country, and that of the Augustana 
Synod in U.S.A., could do anything to bring the great mass 
of these valuable colonists into closer Church fellowship it 
would be a most excellent work for the United States. It would 
bring our own Churches into touch with a most important 
body of Christians, equal in numbers, probably, to all other 
Evangelical Christians put together — namely, the Lutherans. 
It is estimated by Dr. Lenker, of Minneapolis, the translator 
of Luther's works and a great authority on Lutheranism, that 
there are about seventy million Lutherans in the world. If 
the Anglican Churches and the Swedish Churches could enter 
into a thorough and intimate alliance, we should be in touch 
with a body of persons who had preserved a very strong hold 
upon Christian truth, a hold stronger, perhaps, than that of 
any other Evangelical rehgious body, except the Scotch 

^ In an address to a Conference of Diocesan officers, 17th November, 
1910. Diocesan Gazette, p. 284. 


Presbyterians, and we should be able, in that way, to do a very 
great work for the Church universal. Here might be a door 
open for a much greater movement than any other which had 
been possible for centuries. The getting into touch with the 
enormous body of Lutherans is a matter which had occupied 
the attention of many of our predecessors in the reigns of 
James I. and Charles I. I have only recently become 
acquainted with the steps which were taken in the matter by 
Archbishop Laud and other Bishops, including my predecessor, 
Bishop Davenant. The death of Gustavus Adolphus put an 
end to an opportunity for alliance which never arose again. ^ 
May we do something to take up the task under happier con- 

The National Church of Sweden was at once translated 
into Swedish. It is read in the Universities of that 
country, and also, as I am told, in the University of 
Christiania. The introduction to the Swedish edition, 
written by Professor Soderblom, who has since become 
Archbishop of Upsala, will show in what light it appears 
to a competent native critic. ^ 

" This work is destined to be for a long time to come the 
medium of knowledge about our Church in foreign lands. She 
(the Swedish Church) is to be congratulated that she is indebted 
for this to an author so well informed, so personally eminent, 
and so impressed with her history and possibilities. But most 
of all the book owes its peculiar fascination, its suggestive 
character, and its permanent worth to the English prelate's 
vigorous outlook on our history, and on the position of the 
two Churches in general. Subjects are brought before us 
in a new light and with an unaccustomed background. We 
encounter a lofty conception of the task of the Church, and at 
the same time a warm and wide affection flowing out of a 
truly episcopal spirit, which would have Bishops to be ^ 

^ See The National Church of Sweden, pp. 290-298. 
2 The translation is made by Chancellor Bernard. 
^ See National Church of Sweden, p. 420. 


* not Inspectors but Fathers in God.' When Bishop Words- 
worth desires, with, an eagerness which is a Httle surprising 
to us, that the Bishop should lay his hand on the head of every 
person confirmed, it is not that he regards it merely as a cere- 
mony, but as an expression of close personal relation. So 
at least at that time in his life will every member of the Church 
necessarily come in contact with his Bishop. Here in our land 
at the present day the different classes live more apart from 
one another than formerly, as it were in separate strata. It 
would be for our welfare if both in Church and State, in the 
Army and other employments, those above and those below 
had more real contact with one another. The author's view 
of our ecclesiastical conditions is realistic, not fanciful or 
romantic, but at the same time it is unalarmed and full of 
confidence. His widely extended survey should help to inspire 
somewhat of a consciousness of fellowship in place of that too 
frequent superficial, short-sighted, irresponsible attitude which 
under a pretence of zeal embitters our inevitable difficulties 
and controversies. His closing words refer primarily to a 
good understanding between his Church and our own, but may 
well be applied to our Church's inner life. May He who gives 
His servants the power to see visions, also help us to make them 

The session of Convocation upon which he had burst 
gives occasion of reference to a lack of which he was some- 
times conscious. Of its debates he writes ^ : — 

" We have done a good deal of business with Prayer-book 
revision, though I could not get my points carried. I wish I 
was readier in argument and more persuasive, as I am often 
right when others are wrong and cannot get enough votes to 
carry things." 

As to this difficulty the Bishop of Winchester writes : — 

" There was a very strong individuahty about the way in 
which the Bishop formed and expressed his opinion. Partly 
from his special knowledge on certain subjects, but also from 

1 To Mrs. Wordsworth, loth November, 1910. 


temperament, it was his way to put forward an opinion dog- 
matically, and not to seem, as he did so, much affected by 
indications that it was not welcome, or might not be shared 
by others among his brethren. He would not mind dividing 
in a minority of one ; but, having done so, he would cheerfully 
accept the result without any annoyance or bitterness ; and 
what might have been mistaken at a particular moment for 
indifference to others' opinion went in reality, if one watched, 
with a very careful attention to the thoughts and suggestions 
of men whom he respected, and indeed of those with whom he 
was called to act." 

This comparative failure was in great measure physical. 
As Dr. Sanday, speaking especially of his appearances 
in the House of Lords, has said,^ perhaps too emphati- 
cally : — 

" He had none of the orator's skill in taking his cue from 
the audience. This may have been partly due to the short- 
sightedness which prevented him from seeing his audience. 
But his speeches were apt to be rather of the nature of solilo- 
quies in which he followed the course of his own thoughts." 

Similarly his chaplain, Mr. J. S. S. Johnston, speaking 
of his more private attempts to influence the conduct of 
some of the clergy, says : — 

" The Bishop sometimes seemed keenly aware of his own 
hmitations. Once he said to me (\vith a good deal of feeling), 
' I can prove a thing, but ah ! I can't persuade, I can't 
persuade ! ' . . . It was true enough." 

But in such cases he was reasoning with partisans, 
with whom it was a point of honour not to be convinced. 

The Bishop, at the beginning of 1911, addressed a 
New Year's Letter to the clergy and laity. It was in 
part political ; he wished to give counsel in view of the 
second General Election of 1910. He recognises that the 

1 Proceedings oj the British Academy, Vol. V., as before. 


" merely hereditary principle " in the House of Lords is 
generally abandoned ; yet heredity has its value, and 
" England, the centre of a great scattered empire, parti- 
cularly needs these conservative forces." He advocates 
the election of a certain proportion of the Upper House, 
This will make possible the retention of some Bishops in 
it. He continues : — 

" I confidently assert that the presence of a certain number 
of Bishops in the House is of real and permanent value to the 
country. It is a defence against hasty legislation on religious 
matters and a security that the religious point of view lq social 
matters shall not be overlooked. No one who has followed 
the action of our Archbishops can doubt this. On the other 
hand, it would be an advantage if representatives of other 
religious bodies could find a place in the Upper Chamber." 

If Bishops were excluded, he asserted that it " would 
be absolutely necessary for the Church to have a legal 
representative body of its own, side by side and in some 
degree co-ordinate with Parliament." He finds in Sweden 
an example that might serve our turn. 

As the last months of Bishop Wordsworth's life have 
now been reached, months through which he was to con- 
tinue his labours, till their sudden end, under worse con- 
ditions of health than he knew, or at least would recognise, 
it will be well first to give the summary record made by 
the one who was nearest to him, and then to amplify it 
from other sources. Mrs. Wordsworth writes : — 

" He had overtaxed his strength through and after the 
last Lambeth Conference. The visit to Sweden had been an 
immense pleasure to him, opening as it did enticing ideas 
for further unity and giving him the opportunity for many 
new interests and friendships. He felt strongly drawn to 
efforts to understand and help that Church, and so could not 
bear that the invitation to America to give the Hale Lectures 
should be refused, though he did greatly wish that some one 


else, especially Canon Bernard, might undertake the task 
instead of himself. He accepted it with distinct misgiving, 
which we shared and openly confesed. And his letters to 
me all the time showed that he was feeling it as too great an 
effort. So I too was amazed when he came back, hterally 
hke a boy coming home for the hohdays. I think he was 
thankful to have it all behind him ; and he threw himself into 
the diocesan work with greater zeal than ever. He had a 
breakdown in January, 1911, which ought to have had more 
time given to it, but he seemed to recover rather remarkably. 
Then he spent a Lent of quite extraordinary work, with his 
Confirmation tour ; often three services a day, preaching on 
Sundays, celebrating the Holy Communion, paying pastoral 
visits, arranging for new efforts in the Visitation he was plan- 
ning for the autumn. But he did show signs of unusual 
fatigue. On Good Friday he took the Three Hours' Service 
in the Cathedral. This was a very great effort to him. It 
had weighed on him all through Lent. It was not a service 
that appealed to him, and he had never taken one, but he 
did not want to refuse the Dean. On Easter Day he celebrated 
at 8 — we were never out of Cathedral much before 9.30 on 
that day — he then went, fasting, to take the service at St. 
Edmund's as the Rector was ill. There he preached and 
celebrated, and then before coming back for lunch he went 
up the hill in answer to a request that he would visit one of 
the clergy, who was supposed to be dying. He came back, 
tired out, and then preached in the Cathedral that afternoon. 
But in the evening he collapsed with high fever, and it was 
no surprise to hear that he was willing to stay in bed the next 
day. That was the beginning of a long, mysterious low fever 
at Salisbury and Bridehead, where he saw three doctors who 
all made light of it, except that they agreed in insisting that 
it pointed to the urgent need of a complete rest. I was very 
uneasy, and sure that he was more ill than any one thought ; 
and he himself was very depressed and talked of resigning 
or having definite suffragan help. But he shrank from that 
idea, as he always maintained that the diocese was not more 
than a Bishop in full health and strength could manage. 
However, we went to Lulworth and South wold, and he cer- 
tainly seemed to make a real recovery ; and on the 28th June 


we returned to Salisbury for the Trinity Ordination, which had 
been postponed and which he held with his usual vigour, I 
think. And he took up life again with such thankfulness 
and eagerness ; promising to go slowly and take things easily 
— a promise which it was impossible for him to keep. We 
were a good deal at Lulworth, but there were various camps in 
the neighbourhood and he took long walks, visiting them and 
preaching. It was, of course, a very hot summer, and I am 
sure the heat exhausted him. We had some Copts to stay 
with us ; he preached at the Bishop of Gibraltar's consecra- 
tion ; he took the Asylum duty at Sahsbury on Sunday, the 
3rd July. Then he had the great blow of the Bishop of 
Oxford's death on the 2nd August, which he felt deeply. 
And he was worried by events in the political world, especially 
the passing of the Parliament Bill. He preached in the 
Cathedral on the 6th August, but that day had sharp pain in 
his chest. The following Tuesday he was very ill with pain, 
and was advised complete rest in bed. Again he surprised 
every one by seeming to recover ; but he did several things 
against the doctor's orders, and on Tuesday, the 15th, took a 
long service of licensing and had interviews with several of the 
priests. On Wednesday, i6th August, I asked the doctor 
to be more firm in telling him that nothing but a long and 
entire rest could possibly restore him. So he did, indicating 
that no work should be undertaken till January, 1912. The 
Bishop felt this very much, but he recovered his spirits and got 
up and came down to lunch in the garden with all the children. 
He specially encouraged the boys to say what they would be 
and do when they grew up. From a game of halma with one 
of the girls he came upstairs soon after lunch with a return 
of the pain. It was extreme for more than an hour, and then 
quite suddenly all was over. I think it had almost literally 
broken his heart to hear that he must give up work for a second 
time that year." 

So far was the Bishop, at the beginning of 1911, from 
thinking that his work was nearly done, that he was 
contemplating, at some time in the future, a journey 
to Khartoum in the service of the Church, which was to 


be the last of his expeditions. Beside his ordinary work, 
he was, as Mrs. Wordsworth says, labouring at what was 
for him a novel task, the preparation for the Three Hours' 
Service. He wrote to her ^ :— 

'' I have done a little to my Three Hours, but it is very hard. 
Trying to see a little deeper than others have done into our 
Saviour's heart cannot be wrong, but it seems to have in it a 
little danger of curiosity and vanity if we think we know more 
than others. ' I am not worthy, O Lord,' sounds much in 
my ears." 

His preaching on that Good Friday was " remarkable 
for the freshness and originality of his treatment of the 
great theme," writes one who was present. ^ At his last 
Synod, as at his first, he urged the importance of diocesan 
history ; but this time his topic was the danger lest the 
work of the good men who had revived the Church in 
country parishes within the nineteenth century should 
be ungratefully forgotten. But he was not allowed to be 
present on the occasion, and his address was read for him. 
Meanwhile, he was planning that Visitation, strange and 
alarming to the clergy, ^ which he was not to hold ; and 
doubtless he was also arranging for the future when his 
work should have passed out of his hands. His chaplain, 
Mr. Johnston, says : — 

" Though he had a strong love of hfe, death was never long 
out of his thoughts. With that instinct for continuity 
(' days bound each to each in natural piety ') he was always 
thinking how he might prepare successors to take his place 
and carry on his work when he was gone. In each of his many 
departments of activity he was always looking out for some one 
on whom his mantle might fall. This was a characteristic 
so deeply rooted and so constantly seen at work that it deserves 
mention among his leading habits of mind." 

1 1 6th March, 191 1. ^ Canon E. E. Dugmore. 

^ See p. 274. 


An incident of his illness is recorded by one of the 
Cathedral clergy who was often with him : — 

" It was on the evening of Low Sunday, or that of the 
second Sunday after Easter, that he sent for me to sit with 
him. He was in unusually low spirits and very weak. After 
ordinary talk he asked me to pray and lay my hand on him in 
blessing. It is a recollection which I naturally cherish, though 
at the time it seemed an embarrassing reversal of our normal 
relations. I dare say others had a like experience with him, 
and I think he valued personal sympathy more than people 
generally knew. The points which stand out in my memory 
as chiefly impressing me in this period are my sense of the 
wealth of his affection for his friends and of his own realisation 
of the nearness of the eternal world. I think that he was con- 
scious that his life-work was nearly over, and in his outlook 
on the future of the Church and nation he was feeling acutely 
anxious on account first, of symptoms of an increase of doubt 
on the historical character of the Gospel history, and secondly, 
of certain outbreaks of unusually grave immorahty. But that 
anxiety was strictly in accordance with his habitually intense 
realisation, throughout his twenty-five years' rule as Bishop, 
of the awful responsibility which rests on the collective 
episcopate for the welfare, spiritual and temporal, of the 
Church and the world." 

But soon his illness took a turn for the better, and he 
began to speak with characteristic hopefulness. On the 
5th May he wrote to the Bishop of Winchester : — 

" I wish I could teU you how I am by any positive standard, 
but every other day the doctor tells me I am better, and I can 
see by certain signs (appetite, sleep, etc.) that I am. I am 
beginning to get more hopeful, but I don't expect to be fit for 
work till the end of the month. ... I am content to let day 
follow day as God wills. Of course you understand that they 
have dug me up all over and find every organ and function 
perfectly sound." 

On the 25th May he published a letter to the diocese 


in which he said : " I am now, thanks be to God, con- 
valescent, but I am still advised, or rather commanded, 
to do no work until the end of June." 

This compulsory rest, as Mrs, Wordsworth shows, 
was irksome to one who had schooled himself into constant 
work and over-work. Believing, as he did, that he had 
suffered from weakness rather than from any specific 
disease, he threw himself as a relief from the tedium of 
idleness into an excess of activity. To mention only some 
of the tasks of the last three weeks of his life, on the 25th 
July he preached in St. Paul's Cathedral, in itself a con- 
siderable effort, a sermon which shows no diminution 
of power. 1 On the 2nd August there appeared in the 
Times a long and vigorous letter on " the morality of 
special creations." After the Bishop's death that journal 
asserted that no one had made his special point with 
so much force and accuracy. Part of the letter is as 
follows : — 

" Let me venture to remind your readers of some of the 
terms in which bribery is defined in the Corrupt Practices Act 
of 1854, which are repeated in the third schedule of the 
Corrupt and Illegal Practices Act of 1883, where we read, 
inter alia, ' The following persons shall be deemed guilty of 
bribery and shall be punishable accordingly : i . . . 2. Every 
person who shall directly or indirectly . . . give or procure 
... or offer, promise, or promise to procure, or to endeavour 
to procure any office, place, or employment to or for any voter 
... in order to induce such voter to vote or refrain from 
voting,' etc. The principle of this section is clear, and it is 
surely in equity applicable to the case before us. For why 
should a man who offers a voter to try to get him a gardener's 
place, in order to induce him to vote for a particular person, 
be considered a criminal, and another who offers to make a 

1 At the consecration of the Bishops of Gibraltar, Taunton, and 
Corea. An extract is given on p. 339- The sermon is printed in the 
posthumous volume. 


man a Baron, in order to induce him to vote for a particular 
measure, be held to be guiltless ? The voter may have no 
objection to vote for the particular candidate ; there is no 
proof required that the offer of the gardener's place has changed 
his mind ; what the law forbids, and treats as criminal, is 
the suggestion of advantage to be gained by the vote, even if 
no promise be given by the elector. The words ' in order to 
induce such voter to vote ' do not necessarily imply that a 
promise has been secured. So that even if Mr. Asquith has 
secured no promise, the offer of a Barony, under the circum- 
stance, becomes, according to this analogy, a corrupt practice." 

On the 4th August he wrote ^ : — ■ 

" I have not been idle these last few days. I keep well, 
but find the heat trying. I generally get a little siesta in the 

On Sunday, the 6th August, he preached his last 
sermon, again a vigorous one, in Salisbury Cathedral.^ 
Canon Dugmore writes : — 

" It was dehvered with more even than his usual earnest- 
ness, and the impression on me was such as to cause me to 
say to several friends that I thought he would not be long 
with us." 

A long and learned letter, which shows familiarity 
with recent as well as ancient literature, on the place of 
miracles in the Christian revelation, was addressed on 
the 13th to Canon Douglas Macleane, as Warden for the 
Diocese of the Central Society of Sacred Study. On the 
14th was written another long letter, on the endless subject 
of ritual observance, to one of the less amenable of the 
clergy.^ On the 15th was held a service which Mr. 
Carnegy Johnson shall describe : — 

1 To the Rev. J. S. S. Johnston. 

^ On the Transfiguration. Printed in the posthumous volume of 
his sermons. 

* For this letter see p. 309. 


" On the day before he died, the Bishop held an institution 
and hcensing of eleven clergy. When the men were ready, 
I went up to the study to ask him to allow the Registrar,^ 
as Notary Public, to take the oaths and declarations, usually 
made before the Bishop himself. He got up from the sofa 
where he was resting and said, ' No. Why is Maiden here 
at all ? ' I replied that I had asked him to help me through 
with an unusual number. He took the service in Lady Chapel 
vigorously and with determination, and gave a longer address 
than usual at the end. Finally he said, ' I should hke to 
have a separate interview with each of you, but my doctors 
require me to husband my strength. I will, however, see 

[naming three] in the Vestry.' He knew well that, 

once back in the Palace, he would not have been allowed to 
make this further effort, and, masterful as he was, he never 
provoked opposition if he could achieve his end quietly. 
And so even in the dry, formal, official Act Book which it was 
my duty to keep as secretary, there stands against his name on 
August 15th a long record of work done by him on that day, 
and on August i6th the record of his death. * Occupy till I 
come.' Who ever obeyed this order better than our dear 
Bishop ? " 

During the last days of his life he was carefully weighing 
again the evidence of St. Matthew's Gospel for our Lord's 
teaching on divorce. He was no longer so confident 
as he had once been upon the subject. But the last 
topic on which he was engaged was that of the Swedish 
Church. By his bed was found lying a full and learned 
answer to some criticisms on his Hale Lectures that 
had been addressed to him by Professor H. E. Jacobs, 
of Philadelphia. The only relaxation he had allowed 
himself was that the greater part had been dictated, 
the last paragraph being in his own hand. 

Amid these varied activities he passed away. The 

1 Mr A R Maiden, the distinguished antiquary, was in the Bishop's 
last years Registrar of the Diocese. He died soon after Bishop Words- 


2 C 


death was unexpected. A house had been rented for the 
summer holiday on Dartmoor, and beyond that immediate 
enjo5nnent the Bishop was looking forward to the closer 
society of his brother, who was soon to be his neighbour 
at Salisbury, and of his brother-in-law, Bishop Wallis, 
who had resigned the see of Wellington and had just 
been instituted to the archdeaconry of Wilts, In the 
fulness of his powers he was removed from service on 

He was buried on Saturday, the 19th, in the beautiful 
churchyard of Britford, by the side of his first wife. 
The railway strike which had spread over England made 
it impossible for many of his friends to be present. Next 
day his old friend, the Bishop of Winchester, preached 
his funeral sermon in Salisbury Cathedral.^ 

In attempting a final estimate of Bishop John Words- 
worth's character, it will be well to draw attention first 
to the quality which most marked him in the judgment 
of those who could not appreciate his special gifts. To 
the general mind his kindliness was conspicuous. The 
evidence is so plentiful that only a few examples can be 
selected. At the last moment the story has been furnished 
how he would never fail, at a little railway-station, to 
climb to the box of a one-armed signalman who sang 
in a village choir. His attention to the widows of poor 
clergy in Bishop Seth Ward's College of Matrons at 
Salisbury, his aid to young men struggling towards Holy 
Orders, his help to clever boys in his school by which they 
reached the University — one, the son of a railway-porter, 
attained to the Indian Civil Service — his reception of a 
family of young children into the Palace that their father, 
a poor clergyman in a sickness where quiet was essential, 
might have the better chance of recovery, the delicacy 
of his inquiries into the circumstances in which the family 

^ It will be found in the Diocesan Gazette for September, 191 1. 


of an incumbent had been left by his death ; such are 
a few of the instances of his kindhness. If a Sunday 
were free he would devote it to the service of some little 
church that otherwise must be closed, and the opportunity 
would not be lost of learning the circumstances of the 
parish. He had the gift of gaining the confidence of 
churchwardens, and his knowledge of even the smallest 
details of parochial work was astonishing. A lady ^ 
writes of the Bishop's preaching in a village church after 
the funeral of the Vicar : — 

" In his sermon he gave testimony to my dear father's 
work during his incumbency. I was amazed at his accurate 
knowledge of the details of our Church life in the parish and 
of the various improvements that had been effected during 
that time. It seemed almost incredible that, even had he 
known of things at the time they were done, he could have 
kept the memory of what went on in such an unimportant 
little village." 

But this kindness was not sentimental. It was apt 
to have at times a certain touch of hardness, which his 
life-long friend Chancellor Bernard explains : — 

" The deepest impression which I retain from my long 
relations of close friendship with him is that of his affectionate 
heart. I wish to emphasise this characteristic, because it 
was perhaps not generally realised, at any rate not until the 
later years of his episcopate, when there were many who 
could testify to it. One reason was that his manner was some- 
times brusque and apparently unsympathetic. A deeper 
reason was that he had a profound conviction that life was 
not meant to be smooth, but must bring, for all, trials and 
sorrows, a truth of which he had special experience. He would 
sometimes give expression to this in a way that seemed almost 
harsh to those who were not intimate with him." 

1 Miss Henderson, daughter of the Rev. T. J. Henderson, Vicar 
of Farley and Pitton, Wilts. 


Nor was he always willing to edify. His chaplain, 
Mr. Johnston, tells how — 

" the Bishop was disappointing to those who came to him 
expecting to hear ' some great thing.' I was present when 
an impressionable young man came to receive a valediction on 
going up to the University. The Bishop did not strike the 
idealistic note ; he neither gave grave warnings as to the 
temptations of the new hfe, nor did he hold up any ideals of 
scorning delights and living laborious days. The only advice 
he saw fit to give to the youth was to be careful not to ruin 
his digestion by drinking too much tea. The young man went 
away, if not sorrowful, certainly mystified." 

But his true self was shown in the words which end 
the preface of his Ministry of Grace : " To God, the Giver 
of the great gift of human friendship, be thanks and 

His manner of life and thought was so uniform that 
the memories of his last chaplain do not vary from those 
of Mr. Crokat and Archdeacon Bodington. But a few 
extracts may be given from the notes of Mr. Johnston : — 

" Continuity and solidarity were two notes of his mind, 
the one expressing the historic sense, the other the social 
sense, but both finding their root in a common instinct. 
' Fellowship ' was a word always on his lips ; it realised itself 
in the communion of saints and the brotherhood of man . 

" He did not inherit the poet's love of nature, but he did 
inherit his mental aloofness, his love of elemental things, his 
affection for child-nature, his deep love of the simplicities 
and sanctities of life. In spite of his love of detail and fact, 
he was a confirmed idealist . Nothing else could have made him 
take so patient and faithful an interest in the possibilities of 
eccentric and doubtful sects and persons. 

" His thrift in trifles, e.g. removing unused stamps from 
envelopes, saving pieces of twine from parcels (in this resem- 
bling the poet), and his almost reckless generosity in great 
things. His subscription list was a marvel. 


" The intellectual difficulties of the day never touched 
him ; they were outside his vision altogether. He hved too 
much in a world of his own to realise by sympathetic imagina- 
tion what were the doubts or the hopes strong in the minds of 
younger men . Practical sympathy he was always ready to give ; 
intellectual sympathy he could not often bestow. He accepted 
the truths of the Gospel, and he was convinced that they rested 
on sufficient authority. He distrusted philosophy, though in 
his Bampton Lectures he had shown a decided interest in 
speculative thought. But this avenue in his mind seemed 
later to be entirely closed. 

" The Bishop's mode of reading, at least in his latter days, 
was curious. He would, apparently in the most aimless way, 
pick a book out of the shelves and read for two or three 
minutes, perhaps carrying on a conversation in the meantime ; 
he then would restore the book to its place. It would seem 
that nothing could be gained by so desultory a method, but 
in those few minutes every fact was seized and arranged and 
laid in place for future use. 

" His habit of asking questions was disconcerting, but it 
was chiefly due to his habit of thinking aloud. The question 
was meant as much for himself as for his companion. When 
we were driving or on long journeys, at intervals of about a 
quarter of an hour he would ask a question, but I soon found 
that he was quite indifferent whether he were answered or not. 
He would dive mentally for another quarter of an hour, and 
then rise to the surface with a question as before. 

" When he laid himself out to preach an important sermon 
he was generally too laboured, but when he spoke on the spur 
of the moment, or threw out some unconsidered suggestion, 
then it was worth while to be all attention. 

" He would never shift drudgery on to a subordinate (he 
ought to have done so more) nor ask him to do what he was 
not ready to do himself. It was a matter of principle with him 
to refer to his staff as ' colleagues.' " 

Chancellor Bernard's impressions are similar : — 

" Those who had occasion to see him often could not 
fail to be surprised at the readiness and patience with which 


he would endure interruptions. Indeed, patience is not the 
word to use, for there was generally such a willingness to turn 
aside from what he was doing and attend to something quite 
different, that all the excuses and apologies of the interrupter 
were silenced. The recovery of the thread of study or reflec- 
tion seemed to cause no difficulty. This characteristic had 
its good side for those who came to him from all quarters for 
help and guidance, but it was sometimes rather trying for 
those who had already secured his attention for something else. 
It must not, however, be supposed that he could not or did 
not deny himself to those who wanted to see him when other 
serious business was in hand. There was a natural capacity 
for readily turning from one subject to another, but I feel sure 
that it had been developed into a habit under a sense of what 
he owed as Bishop to all his flock who needed him. He would 
be accessible to all. 

" I often had occasion to wonder at the confidence and 
readiness with which almost on the spur of the moment he 
would sit down at the table and write off an important letter 
or formulate a plan of action without any previous sketch, 
and with hardly any erasures. It seemed as if all took shape 
in his mind without effort, and came to the birth clearly 
arranged and in logical order, although the subject could 
hardly have been in his thoughts more than a few minutes. 

" In conversation a marked feature was his assumption that 
what he spoke about was already familiar to his hearer ; 
or rather it was that he took for granted that his hearer knew 
in some respects more than he did himself. Again and again 
I have had to reply, ' I cannot tell you ; my opinion on this is 
worth nothing.' Combined with his stores of learning, of which 
he must in some degree have been conscious, there was a 
modesty and a trustfulness in the knowledge of others which 
quite confounded them. There was something of the same 
characteristic in his talk to children, whom he supposed to 
know and understand things quite beyond them. It was not 
till he had children of his own that he fully learned to measure 
their intelligence and to enter into their thoughts, instead 
of expecting them to enter into his." 

His store of learning being what it was, naturally he 


made the most of it. But it would be unjust to say that 
he over-valued precedent. Mr. Johnston says that— 

" the Bishop's mind was overweighted with learning ; he 
too often went to the Fathers or the Reformation divines 
for light on matters which he could have decided as well or 
better by his own unaided common sense." 

This might create the impression that his loyalty was 
simply to the past, as was that of the Caroline divines, 
and perhaps of his own father. But in fact he held that 
the gift of wisdom to the Church is cumulative ; that 
though we must learn from the past we can also, in some 
measure, improve upon its teaching. For instance, in 
regard to the Christian ministry and its history he was no 
transmitter of a conventional and inherited doctrine. He 
had studied for himself and come to his own conclusions. 
His citation of authorities may sometimes have been 
excessive ; but often they were adduced not as absolutely 
binding, but rather as being the evidence which it was 
easiest for him to bring forward, though he would have 
allowed that equally valid considerations, of a less learned 
character, might suggest themselves at once to others, 
and as a second thought to himself. 

But in regard to the substance of theology he was most 
conservative. His writings are sufficient evidence ; but 
Archdeacon Bodington notes some points of interest : — 

" He emphasised the importance of a Trinitarian religious 
worship as against a one-sided adoration of the Second Person 
of the Holy Trinity in His human nature, on the one wing of 
the Church or the other. 

" People got a curiously false idea of him when they 
inferred, because of his attitude towards Prayer-book revision 
and Church reform, that he was latitudinarian or compro- 
mising in his beliefs. He felt the imputation very keenly. 
What was moving him was the desire not to drive out any 
whom God had not driven out. It was chanty. But in his own 


beliefs he was almost more unchanging, more unsympathising 
with Modernism, more simply conservative of what he had 
learned as a child, than any scholar we have ever known. 
But it is true that, in comparison with the great topics of faith, 
questions of vestments and the like, though they might interest 
him archaeologically, were trifling indeed." 

Perhaps, in regard to the great questions which will 
trouble the next generation, we may say that the Bishop 
was felix opportunitate mortis. No one could state with 
more weight or fuller conviction the position in which 
he had been trained. But in a day when the danger is 
lest a rising school of thought should be misunderstood 
by one that is still strong and in possession of the ground, 
as Wesley was misunderstood by Bishop Butler and Keble 
by Bishop Sumner, it is not likely that Bishop Wordsworth 
could have taken up with success the part of a mediator. 
As to the less grave disputes which grieved his spirit 
and yet prompted him to devote an ever-increasing share 
of his time to those liturgical studies that were one of the 
chief interests of his later life, it is needless to say much. 
He was one of the most competent ecclesiastical anti- 
quaries in England, and was in his right place as President 
of the Henry Bradshaw Society, a post which he held 
from its foundation in 1891 till his death. But what 
might have been a healthful relaxation was made a burden- 
some duty by the recalcitrance of some of the clergy, 
and it is impossible not to regret the thought that was 
diverted, however necessarily, from more serious learning. 

But the work on the Latin Vulgate suffered in the main 
from a nobler impediment. From the day in 1886 when 
Archbishop Benson bade him watch the progress of a 
reforming movement in Italy, Bishop Wordsworth was 
never released from duties in regard to foreign communions. 
There is no continent save (as it seems) South America, 
certainly there is no country in Europe, with which he 


was not, at one time or another, closely concerned. The 
scenes of interest changed, and it was not his fault that 
he was unable to maintain a continuous intercourse 
throughout his episcopate with any of the Churches that 
came within his range. It was not that he grew forgetful, 
or was unprepared, should occasion arise, to resume corre- 
spondence. Yet often some opening came to nothing, 
there was some disappointment with regard to persons, 
and the only memorial of the negotiation was an addition 
to the Bishop's books. His collection in many languages 
of liturgies, confessions of faith and ecclesiastical codes, 
often rare and curious volumes, was a library in itself. 
He did not regard his work, small though its visible result 
was, as in any sense a failure. Some good had been done, 
some seed sown ; and he was able, in his idealism, to 
magnify the significance of the bodies he had approached. 
Either the possibilities of their future or the greatness of 
their past or some principle for which they stood gave them 
dignity in his eyes. Bishop Wordsworth lived in a wider 
world and worked on a broader scale than Archbishop 
Wake, but the two were one in spirit, and when the archives 
of Lambeth can be opened to future generations it will 
be known that the exertions of the younger prelate were, 
to say the least, comparable with those of the elder. That 
Archbishop, who had the merit of being a Dorset man 
as well as a negotiator of ecclesiastical union, was in fact 
one of Bishop Wordsworth's heroes, and he was never 
tired of suggesting to younger scholars that they should 
write his life. 

But other Churches, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Lutheran, 
were not his whole interest, apart from episcopal duty 
and sacred scholarship. He was the referee, it may be 
said with little exaggeration, of the Anglican episcopate. 
Questions of the most varied nature were submitted to 
him, sometimes directly, sometimes by way of successive 


Archbishops of Canterbury who passed them on to 
SaHsbury. Some specimens of such inquiries, and of his 
answers, have appeared in these pages. He welcomed the 

" We ought to have all new colonial Bishops to Salisbury, 
as I know they feel lonely often, and want help from home 
from some one with more leisure than the Archbishop " ; 

so he wrote to Mrs. Wordsworth. ^ He was, indeed, as 
Bishop Stubbs called him, the Doctor (Ecumenicus of 
the English Church. 

But if his days were worthily spent, it was to the loss 
of sacred learning. The Book of the Acts in the Latin 
Vulgate was published in 1905. In the same year, as 
a fitting recognition of his scholarship, he was elected to 
the membership of the British Academy. It must have 
seemed that he was pledged to continue this work, but 
no further portion appeared in his lifetime. It is im- 
possible to abstain from regret that he was not rewarded 
by seeing the completion of what is, beyond doubt, one 
of the master-works of English scholarship. 

But the manner of working forced upon him by his 
many engagements, especially those in which successive 
Archbishops involved him, had an unfortunate effect. 
Dr. Sanday, in his graceful paper read before the British 
Academy, alludes to it : — 

" The stream of the Bishop's publications never ceased, 
and did not even slacken, but I believe that in all the rest of 
his life [after he became Bishop] he brought out only three 
more books in full library form — the Life of his uncle. Bishop 
Charles Wordsworth, in 1899, The Ministry of Grace in 1901, 
and the Hale Lectures in 1911.2 The other products of 

^ I regret that I have not the date of this extract, but it was after 
the Lambeth Conference of 1908. 

* Dr. Sanday might have added The Holy Communion in its second 
and third editions. 


his pen would make a most untidy regiment ; they came out 
in every possible shape and size, many of them in the modest 
Httle i2mo of the S.P.C.K. There could be no more striking 
testimony to the complete absence of anything Hke Hterary 
foppery in the man." 

But, with deference to Dr. Sanday, this random publi- 
cation has inflicted serious injury upon the cause of 
scholarship and on the author's reputation. Often, 
buried in occasional and ephemeral pamphlets, are frag- 
ments of his best work, published at first in very small 
editions and now quite inaccessible. Even comparatively 
substantial books, such as the Ordination Problems and 
Unity and Fellowship, are likely to miss in future years 
the attention they deserve. Yet, in spite of this injustice 
to himself, he has earned the high praise which Dr. Sanday 
bestows upon him : — 

" Looking at the Bishop's work mainly as a scholar, he 
would perhaps find his nearest counterpart in Isaac Casaubon 
(1559-1614). If he could have led undisturbed the life of a 
student, there is little doubt that he would have rivalled the 
literary output of that famous scholar ; and if we could con- 
ceive of Casaubon as a bishop, he would have been a bishop 
on John Wordsworth's lines. And yet the assignment of 
parts was really appropriate ; because Wordsworth possessed, 
what his prototype did not, that commanding force and quiet 
energy of character which carries with it the qualification for 

This book, then, shall not end on a note of regret. 
We must be thankful that the English Church has been 
adorned in our generation by one whose great gifts were 
devoted in singleness of heart to the search for Christian 
truth and the union of Christ's people. 

Bishop Wordsworth has been commemorated by Sir 
George Frampton's noble recumbent effigy in Salis- 
bury Cathedral, with the appropriate inscription, bonus 


cated by the Archbishop of Canterbury on the gth June, 
1914. Choir stalls are being erected in the Cathedral as 
part of^^the memorial. 

The Bishop's widow and children have dedicated a 
tablet in his memory in West Lulworth Church. 

In St. Mark's Church, Salisbury, consecrated by him, 
a small standing effigy has been erected, designed by 
Mr. Arthur Reeve, facing that of St. Osmund, Bishop 
of Salisbury. 

Lastly, five of his Swedish colleagues have set up a 
silver plaque in Salisbury Cathedral: unitatis christi- 


o <i 


1866. Erasmus [Chancellor's Prize Essay]. London: Rivington. 
8vo. Pp. 19. 

1869. Keble College and the present University Crisis. A Letter 

to the Rev. E. S. Talbot, Warden designate. Oxford : 
Parker. 8vo. Pp. 15. 

1870. Lectures introductory to a History of the Latin Language 

and Literature. Oxford : Parker. 8vo. Pp. 88. 
1874. Fragments and Specimens of Early Latin. Oxford : 

Clarendon Press. 8vo. Pp. xxx. + 679. 
1875-1887. Dictionary of Christian Antiquities and Dictionary of 

Christian Biography. Numerous articles, especially 

Constantine the Great and the Emperor Julian. 

London : Murray. 

1878. University Sermons on Gospel Subjects. Oxford : Parker. 

Small 8vo. Pp. viii. + 135. 

1879. Prayers for use in College. Oxford : Parker. i2mo. 

Pp. II. 

Reprinted, 1883. 

Second edition, 1890. Pp. 64. 

Reprinted, 1893. 

1880. The Church and the Universities. A Letter to C. S. 

Roundell, Esq., M.P. Oxford : Parker. 8vo. Pp. 23. 
Reissued with postscript. 8vo. Pp.32. 

1881. The One Religion. Bampton Lectures for 1 881. Oxford: 

Parker. 8vo. Pp. xx. + 372. 
Second edition. Ibidem. 1887. 
1883. Old Latin Biblical Texts. No. i. Oxford : Clarendon 

Press. 4to. Pp. xliii. + 79- 
1885 Love and Discipline. A memorial sermon preached m 
Lincoln Cathedral after the death of Bishop Christopher 
Wordsworth. Lincoln: Williamson. 8vo. Pp.16. 
Form of Service for the Reopening of a Church after 
Restoration. Salisbury : Brown. 1885. 
Five times revised ; last published, 1909- 
Studia Biblica. No. VIL The Corbey St. James. 
Oxford : Clarendon Press. 8vo. Pp. 38- 


1885. Pastoral Letter to the Clergy and Laity of the Diocese of 

Salisbury. Salisbury : Brown. 8vo. Pp. 20. 

1886. Old Latin Biblical Texts. No. II. (with Dr. Sanday and 

H. J. White). Oxford : Clarendon Press. 8vo. 
Pastoral Letter. Salisbury : Brown. 8vo. Pp. 11. 

1887. Form of Prayer and Ceremonies used at Consecration of 

Churches, Chapels, and Burial Grounds in the Diocese 
of Salisbury. Salisbury : Brown. i2mo. Pp. 16. 
Revised, 1898 ; reprinted, 1912. 

1888. On the Seals of the Bishops of Salisbury. Devizes : Bull. 

8vo. Pp.24. [Also-printedinthe Archaeological Journal, 

vol. xlv., and in the Wilts Archaeological Magazine, 

Addresses at the Bishop's Primary Visitation. Salisbury : 

Brown. 4to. Pp. 47. 
Encyclical Letter of the Lambeth Conference of 1888. 

Greek version. 

1889. On the Roman Conquest of Southern Britain. In the 

Wilts Archaeological Magazine, and reprinted 1890. 

Salisbury : Bennett. 8vo. Pp. 14. 
Commemoration of Founders and Benefactors ... of 

the Cathedral Church of Salisbury . . . first celebrated 

. . . 1889. Form of Service. Salisbury : Brown. 

1 2 mo. Pp.12. Several times revised. 
Novum Testamentum . . . latine secundum editionem 

Sancti Hieronymi. Fasciculus primus. Evangelium 

secundum Mattheum [with H. J. White]. Oxford : 

Clarendon Press. 4to. 

1890. The Bishop's Palace at Salisbury. A Lecture. Salisbury: 

Brown. i2mo. Pp. 32. 
De Successione Episcoporum in Ecclesia Anglicana. 
Epistola, etc. [Latin and English.] London : Long- 
mans. 8vo. Pp. 43. 

Second edition [English only] 1892. London : 
S.P.C.K. i2mo. Pp. 32. 

1891. The Holy Communion : Four Visitation Addresses. Sent 

to all Clergy of the Diocese. 
The Holy Communion : revised and enlarged. Oxford : 
Parker. 1891. 8vo. Pp. 212. 

Second edition, with new preface and index. Ibidem. 

1892. 8vo. Pp. 212. 
Third edition. London : Longmans. 1910. Small 
8vo. Pp. xxxii. + 468. 


1891. Manualof the Salisbury Communicants' Guild. Salisbury: 

Brown. lamo. Pp. 78. Several times revised. Last 
reprinted 191 o. 
Novum Testamentum . . . latine . . . Fasciculus secun- 
dus. Evangelium secundum Marcum [with H. J. White], 
Oxford : Clarendon Press. 4to. 

1892. Memorandum on the possible Reunion of the Deaneries of 

Malmesbury, Chippenham, and Cricklade with the 
Diocese of Salisbury. Privately printed. 8vo. Pp.14. 

1893. Novum Testamentum . . . latine . . . Fasciculus ter tins. 

Evangelium secundum Lucam [with H. J. White]. 
Oxford : Clarendon Press. 4to. 

1 894. De validitate ordinum Anglicanorum Responsio ad Batavos. 

Sahsbury : Brown. 8vo. Pp. 22. 
Second edition. Ibidem. 1895. 
Trois lettres sur la position de I'EgUse Anglicane. Sahs- 
bury : Brown. 8vo. Pp. 22. 

1895. Novum Testamentum . . . latine . . . Fasciculus quartus. 

Evangelium secundum lohannem [with H. J. White]. 
Oxford : Clarendon Press. 4to. 

1896. Questions and Answers for the Children of the Church 

[on the Ministry, Confirmation, and Holy Communion]. 
First put forth at the Third Triennial Visitation, 1894. 
Revised and enlarged. Sahsbury : Brown. i2mo. 
Pp. 16. 

Reprinted. Ibidem. 1902. 

Greek translation, by the Rev. H. T. F. Duckworth. 
Leukosia. 1899. 

1897. Family Prayers ... for use in the Bishop's Chapel. 

Salisbury : Bennett. i2mo. Pp. 72. 

Second edition. Sahsbury : Brown. 1903. i2mo. 

Pp. 106. 
Second edition (sic). Ibidem. 1905. i2mo. Pp. iii. 
A Central Consultative Body. A Paper read at the 
Nottingham Church Congress. Derby: Bemrose. 8vo. 

Pp. 6. 

Encyclical Letter of the Lambeth Conference of 1897- 
Latin version. 

1898. Considerations on Public Worship and on the Ministry of 

Penitence. Salisbury : Brown. 8vo. Pp. 79- 
First edition, July. 
Second edition (with a note), August. 
Third edition (with a second note), September. 


1898. NoYum Testamentum . . . latine . . . epilogus [with 

H. J. White]. Oxford : Clarendon Press. 4to. 
Novum Testamentum . . . latine . . . {ut supra). Pars 
prior — Quattuor Evangelia. 4to. Pp. xxxviii. -f 779- 

1899. The Episcopate of Charles Wordsworth, Bishop of St. 

Andrews, 1 853-1 892. London : Longmans. 8vo. Pp. 
xxvi. + 402. 

On the Rite of Consecration of Churches, especially in the 
Church of England. A Lecture. Together with the 
Form of Prayer and Order of Ceremonies in use in 
the Diocese of Salisbury. London : S.P.C.K. (for the 
Church Historical Society). 8vo. Pp. 57. 

Bishop Sarapion's Prayer-book. An Egyptian Pontifical 
about A.D. 350. Translated . . . with Introduction 
and Notes. Salisbury : Brown. i2mo. Pp. 40. 

Second edition. London : S.P.C.K. (Early Church 
Classics.) 1899. i2mo. Pp. 104. 

1900. Bishop of Salisbury's Visitation, June, 1900. Contains 

the Te Deum in paragraphs, verses, and responses. 
Some Points in the Teaching of the Church of England, 
set forth for the Information of Orthodox Christians 
of the East in the form of an answer to questions. 
London : S.P.C.K. i2mo. Pp. 29. 

Greek translation, by John Gennadius (now Greek 

Ambassador in London) . S.P.C.K. 1900. 
Russian translation, by Prof. N. Orloff. S.P.C.K. 1903. 
Italian translation, by L. P. di Castelvecchio. 

S.P.C.K. 1909. 
Arabic translation, by the Rev. Simon Stephen. 

S.P.C.K. 1904. 
Revised edition [English and Greek parallel]. 
S.P.C.K. 1901. Post 8vo. Pp. 34 + 34. 
The Reform of Ecclesiastical Courts. An Address to the 
Chapter of Salisbury Cathedral. Salisbury : Brown. 
8vo. Pp. 16. 
The Testament of Our Lord. An Early Christian Church 
Ordinance. Two articles in the Chtirch Quarterly 
Review, January and April. 

1 90 1. The Ministry of Grace. Studies in Early Church History 

with reference to Present Problems. [Addresses at the 
Fifth Triennial Visitation, 1900.] London : Longmans. 
8vo. Pp. xxiv. + 486. 

Second edition. Ibidem. 1903. Pp. xxvi. + 507- 


igoi. Further Considerations on Public Worship. Salisbury: 
Brown. 8vo. Pp. 32. 
Liturgical Development. A Paper read at the Church 
Congress, Brighton. Derby : Bemrose. 8vo. Pp. 6. 

1902. Dictionary of National Biography. Supplement. Lives 

of Dr. John Walker and Bishop Charles Wordsworth. 

London : Smith, Elder & Co. 
The Church of England and the Eastern Patriarchates. 

A Lecture delivered at Oxford at the Summer School of 

Clergy, 27th July, 1898. With three Appendices. 

Oxford : Parker. 8vo. Pp. 38. 
The "Te Deum," its structure and meaning . . . with 

revised Latin text, notes and translation. London: 

S.P.C.K. i2mo. Pp. 24. 

Revised edition. Ibidem. 1903. Pp. 30. 

1903. Egypt and the Coptic Church. An Address. Salisbury : 

Brown. 8vo. Pp. 12. 
A Representative Church Council. Speeches by the Bishop 

of Salisbury and Bishop Barry. London : S.P.C.K. 

8vo. Pp. 36. 
Translations and Versions of the Scriptures. Speech at 

the Bristol Church Congress. In its Report. 

1904. The Representative Church Council. Part of the Address 

to the Synod, 13th April, 1904. Salisbury : Brown. 

8vo. Pp. 8. 
The Baptismal Confession and the Creed. A Sermon. 

London : S.P.C.K. 8vo. Pp. 24. 
A National Church Council. A Paper read at the Church 

Congress, Liverpool. Derby : Bemrose. 8vo. Pp. 6. 

1905. The Power of the Bishops to license Laymen to preach and 

read prayers. A Letter to the Archbishop of Canter- 
bury. London : Longmans. 8vo. Pp. 22. 

Novum Testamentum . . . latine . . . Actus Apostolorum 
[with H. J. White]. Oxford : Clarendon Press. 4to. 
Pp. xvi. + 228. 

Appendix to Memoirs of Archbishop Temple : " Arch- 
bishop Temple and the Responsio Archiepiscoporum." 
Vol. ii. Pp. 388-397- 

1906. The Education Question. Synod Address and Three 

Lectures. London : Longmans. 8vo. Pp. 75. 

1907. Proposals for Reunion between Anglicans and Presby- 

terians. A Letter to the Archbishop of Melbourne. 
Salisbury : Brown. 8vo. Pp. 8. 

2 D 


1908. The Ornaments of the Church and its Ministers. Speech 

in the Upper House of Convocation. Sahsbury : 
Brown. i2mo. Pp. 16. 
The Law of the Church as to Marriage of a Man with his 
Deceased Wife's Sister. London : S.P.C.K. 8vo. 
Pp. 56. 

Second edition, revised. Ibidem. 1909. 
The Invocation of Saints and the Twenty-second Article. 
London : S.P.C.K. Svo. Pp. 64. 

Second edition. Ibidem. 1910. Svo. Pp. xiii. + 64. 

1909. Ordination Problems. London : S.P.C.K. Small Svo. 

Pp- 137- 

1 910. Unity and Fellowship. Visitation Addresses, 1909. 

London : S.P.C.K. Small Svo. Pp. 15S. 

191 1. The National Church of Sweden. Hale Lectures, 1910. 

London : Mowbray. Svo. Pp. xix. -f 459. 
Novum Testamentum Latine secundum editionem Sancti 
Hieronymi. Editio minor curante Henrico I. White. 
Oxford : Clarendon Press ; and London : British and 
Foreign Bible Society. i2mo. Pp. xx. + 620. 

191 2. Den Svenska Kyrkan. Authorised translation by E. 

Silen. With introduction by Dr. (now Archbishop) 

Sdderblom. Stockholm : Norstedt. Svo. Pp. xxxii. + 

1 91 3. Novum Testamentum . . . latine . . . Epistula ad 

Romanos. Oxford : Clarendon Press. 4to. Pp. 152. 
Sermons preached in Salisbury Cathedral Church and else- 
where . . . together with Selected Prayers . . . with 
Portrait. London : Longmans. Svo. Pp. xviii. + 307. 


All asterisk indicates friends of Bishop Wordsworth who have in different ways 
contributed to this book ; it also pi'ecedes the names of persons deceased whose 
representatives have kindly lent letters by him or have alloived quotations to 
be made from documents which are their property. The heirs of A rchbishop 
Benso7i must especially be thanked. 


Aberdeen University, 222 
"Academic Liberals," 114, 121, 

126, 130 
Albany, U.S.A., 366 
American Episcopal Church, 

367 f- 
Anglican Church, organisation 

of, 264 f . 
Anglo-Continental Society, 93, 

Archbishop, limit of his powers, 

Archbishop's jurisdiction, 247 f. 
Archdeacons, law concerning, 


Athanasian Creed, 288 
Augustana Synod, 370 
*Aveling, Mr. S., 134 


Barter, Warden, 13 
Beaconsfield, Lord, 105 
Bell, Rev. W. C, 143 
Benefices Act (1898), 240 
♦Benson, Archbishop, 34 f., 38, 48, 
62 f., 66, 92, loi f., 126, 165, 
197, 246 f., 255, 263, 317, 323, 

Bent ley, Richard, ♦141 

Berger, Samuel, 41, 142 
Berlin in 1867, 40 f. 
*Bernard, Chancellor, 22, 24, 59, 

387, 389 
Biggs, Bishop Yeatman, 209 
Bishops irregularly consecrated, 

Bishops, office of, 164 f. 
" Bishop's Path," 221 
Bishops, trial of, 249 f . 
*Bodington, Archdeacon, 46, 83 f., 

119, 183, 193 f., 201, 206, 

253 f-. 391 
Brasenose College, 39 ff. 
, Wordsworth prize at, 

♦Bright, Dr. W., 120 
Brighton, school at, 8 
Browne, Bishop G. F., 256 
Bryce, Mr. J. (Viscount), 114 
Burgon, Dean, 41, 115, 125 
Burial questions, 284 
Burrows, Canon, 132 
Bywater, Professor, 115 

Cambridge influences, 33, 42 
Campello, Count, 317 
Canonical obedience, 169 
Canterbury, see of. 245 f., 253, 



♦Carpenter, Archdeacon, 233, 286 

Carter, Canon, 331 

Ceylon, troubles in, 99 
*Channer, Rev. G. R., 270 

Chicago, 370 f . 

Christopher, Canon, 83 

Church, the National, 216, 257 f. 
*Church, Dean, 138 

Churches, colonial, 265 f . 

Churchwardens, law of, 241 f. 

Cincinnati, 366 

Clarendon Press, 109 f. 
*Clayton, Canon, 95, 107, 112, 118 

Clergy, education of, 270 f. 

Clergy, relation to the Bishop, 
168, 174 

Comparative Philology, study of, 

Confimiation, 275 f. 

Conington, Professor, 24 f., 46, 

49 f., 51 

Consecration hf Churches, 220, 

Cookson family, 28 

Coptic Church, 217 

Coronation oath, 316 

Corssen, Dr. Peter, 147 

Courthope, Mr. W. J., 22, 60 

Courts, Ecclesiastical, 258 

Coxe, Mr. H. O., 64, 92, 139 

Coxe, Miss S. E., 30 f ., 64 f . 

Cradock, Principal, 67, 107 
*Creighton, Bishop, 327 

Cremation, 284 
*Crokat, Rev. W. A., 183 f. 

Crown Office, 240 

"Crumpets and Corinthians," 82 

Cyprus, 217, 342 


Davidson, Archbishop, 222 
•'Dawson, Rev. Wm., 318 
Deane, Sir J. P., 172, 236, 244 
Denmark, Church of, 357 

Dictionaries of Christian Anti- 
quities and Biography, 33, 40, 

" Digamma, what the," 24 

Dioceses, extent of, 165 

Doane, Bishop, 366 

" Doctor CEcumenicus," 394 

Dorner, Professor, 40 

Dorset, county of, 198 
*Dowden, Bishop, 334 

Du Bose, Professor, 369 
*Dugmore, Canon E. E., 381, 384 

Dundas, Archdeacon, 95 

Eastern Church, 218, 339 f. 
Education, undenominational, 

202 f . 
Egypt, 217 

Ekman, Archbishop, 355 f. 
Episcopal office, the, 164 f. 
Episcopate, development of, 

335 f- 
Evangelical Party, the, 190, 258 
Examination of the Clergy, 235 f. 

Fragments and Specimens, 53 f. 
Frere family, 4 
"Frere, Rev. H. C, 341 

Gailor, Bishop, 369 
Gastrell, Bishop, 9 
*Goddard, Rev. E. H., 87 
Gregory, Professor C. R., no 
Gwjmn, Professor, 142 f., 144 


Hatch, Dr. Edwin, in, 126 

Hamilton, Bishop, 177 f. 

Hamlin, Mr., 196 

Harnham Hill, 221 

Harrow School, 4, 31 f. 
*Heberden, Dr. C. B. (Principal of 

B.N.C.), 31, 47. 79 
♦Henderson. Miss, 387 



Henry Bradshaw Society, 392 

Hicks, Bishop, 37, 40 

Holgate, Chancellor C. W., 196, 

Holland, Church of, 322 
Home Reunion, 333 f . 
*Hooper, Rev. G. F., 159, 200, 214 
Hort, Professor, 125 
Hubbard, Mr., 296 

lace, Dr., 105 
Incense, 304 
*Inman, Canon E., 273 
Invocation of Saints, 307 
Ipswich Grammar School, 9 
Ireland Professorship, 126 
Italians, Reform among, 317 f. 


*Jayne, Bishop, 99 

Jelf, Canon, 132, 159 

Jerome, St., 152 

Jerusalem, 219 f. 
*Johnson, Mr. Carnegy, 224, 384 

Johnson, the Misses, 143, 297 
♦Johnston, Rev. J. S. S., 363, 
371 f". 377. 388 f. 

Jowett, Professor, 21 

Jus liiurgicum, 250 f. 


Kalmar, Bishop of, 355 f. 
Keble College, 71, 88 
* Kinder, Rev. E. H., 86 
King, Bishop E., 78, 100, 130, 

138, 248 
Knight, Bishop, 339 

Lambeth Conferences, 261 
*Larpent, Mons. A., 342 f. 
*Leeke, Mrs., 132 

Lenker, Dr., 374 

Lester, Mr. J. D., 23 

♦Liddon, Dr., 43, 75 f., 78, 91, 94, 
116, 126, 135 f. 
Lightfoot, Bishop, 42 
Lincoln, Synod of, 93, 233 
Lincoln trial, 246 f., 297 

♦Livingstone, Canon R. G., 42 

♦Lock, Dr. W., 47 
Lollard's Tower, 196, 207 
Lord's Prayer, 287 
Lul worth, "West, 221, 330 


Maclagan, Archbishop, 321, 332 
Macleane, Canon D., 384 
*Madan, Mr. F., 47, 79, 144 
Mahan, Admiral, 365 
Maiden, Mr. A. R., 385 
Manning, Dr. (New York), 364 
Maronites, 341 
Marquette, Bishop of, 356, 359, 

Marriage, 278 f. 
Marsh, Rev. W., 143 
Maurice, F. D., 42 
Merivale, Dean, 5 
Meyrick, Canon, 93 
Middleton, Mr. H. B., 232 
♦Milford, Miss Beatrice, 180 
Ministry, the Christian, 335 f. 
Moberly, Bishop, 6, 10, 13, 135, 

Mola, Signer, 318 
Monck, Rev. G. G., 95 
Mozley, Dr. J. B., 68, 103 f., 117. 

Miiller, Max, 113 
Mundella, Mr., 203 
Myers, Canon, 297 
Mylne, Bishop, 26, 104 


Nashville, 370 

" National Church Council,' 

260 f. 
Nelson, Earl, 232 

2 D 2 



New College, Oxford, 20, 32 
New Zealand, 208 f. 
Nonconformists, 282 f. 


Old Catholics, 91, 93, 315 f., 

319 f. 
*" Old Latin Biblical Texts," 128 
Old Mortality Club, 27 
Orders, English, 322, 326 f . 
Ordinatorum Convenius, 362 
Oriel College and professorship, 

126, 131 
*Owen, Mr. S. G., 54 f . 
Oxford controversies, 66, 70 f., 

Oxford House, Bethnal Green, 

Oxford Missionary Library, 112 
Oxford, St. Stephen's House, 106, 


Pallium, the, 265 

Palmer, Dr. Edwin, 50, 104 

Pan-Anglican Congress, 353 

Pater, Walter, 29, 89 

Patronage, ecclesiastical, 162 f., 
234 f., 238 

Pelham, Professor, 136 

Perowne, Bishop, 206 

" Peter the Whaler," 13 
*Phelps, Rev. L. R., 131 

Philipps, Canon Sir J. E., 269 

Platon, Archbishop, 365 

Pleydell, Mr. Mansel, 258 

Pluralities Act Amendment Act, 

Portal, Abbe, 215, 326 

Prayer-book revision, 234, 291, 

Presbyterianism, 222, 329 f ., 333 f . 
♦Prickard, Mr. A. O., 10, 32 

Public Worship Regulation Act, 
*Pumell, Mr. E. K., 35 
*Pusey, Dr., 102 


" Queen of heaven," 293 
Quicunque vult, 288 


Ranke, Prof., 41 
Representative Church Council, 

Responsio Arckiepiscoporum, 

327 f. 
Rigaud, Bishop, 9 
Robert Elsmere, 118 
Rochester, 132 f. 
Rock Island, U.S.A., 370 
Roman claims, 315 f., 326 f., 334, 

Roper, Bishop J. L., 143 
Roundell, Mr. C. S., 114 
" Rudiments of Faith and 

Religion," 129 

St. Andrew, Society of, 147, 200 
St. Mary's Entry, 130 
Salisbury, see of, 173 

Palace, 175 f. 

, deanery of, 239 

Greater Chapter, 161, 232, 

— ■ — Synod of Clergy, 233 

Diocesan Synod, 231 f. 

Cathedral commemoration, 


Theological College, 269 

, Bishop's School, 201 

, education in 1890 .. 202 

*SaIisbury, Marquess of, 116, 135 f. 
Salisbury Plain, camps on, 353 
Sanctuary, Archdeacon, 191, 232 

*Sanday, Dr., 37, 58, 118, 126, 

Scotland, Episcopal Church in, 

333 f- 

, reunion in, 215, 223, 333 

Scott, Dean, 47, 132, 134 



Searle, Mr. 196 

" Seminar," method of, 76, 128 

Sewanee, U.S.A., 368 

Sewell, Warden, 20 

Sidgwick, Mr. W. C, 50 
*Snow, Mr. T. C, 56 f. 

Soderblom, Archbishop, 355, 375 

Sowter, Archdeacon, 243 

Spain, travels in, 123 

Stanford in the Vale, 6 
*Steedman, Mrs., 7, 263 

Stewart, Gen. Herbert, 14 
*Stewart, Rev. H. F., 269, 307, 

♦Stewart, Prof. J. A., 27 
Stilwell, Mrs., 296 
Stubbs, Bishop, 249, 394 
Supremacy, Royal, 257 
Sweden, Church of, 339 f ., 354 

, visit to, 356 f. 

Swedes in America, 359 f . 
Syra, Archbishop of, 92 

Taft, Mr. C. P., 366 
Tait, Archbishop, 98 
*Talbot, Dr. (Bishop of Win- 
chester), 71, 120, 146, 157, 163, 

Te Deum, 287 
Temple, Archbishop, 63, 217, 245, 

Tottie, Bishop, 355 
*Trebeck, Mrs., 18, 94 


Unction of the sick, 312 
Undenominationalism, 283 
United States, visit to, 362 f . 
Upsala, Archbishops of, 355. 375 


Vaughan, Mr. Edwyn, 31, 35 
Verrall, Professor, 36 f . 
Victoria, Queen, 159. 176 

Visitations, purpose of, 171 
Vulgate, Benedictine edition, 155 

, editio minor, 154 

, the Latin, 109 f., 128, 

140 ff-. 394 


Wake, Archbishop, 393 

Walford, Mr. J. D., 13 

Walker, Bishop, 371 

Walker, John, 128 

Wallace, Mrs., 8 

*Wallis, Bishop, 208, 223, 275, 
335. 386 

Walrond, Mrs., 296 

Ward, Mr. T. H., 59 
*Ward, Mrs. Humphry, 118 

Watson, Mr. Albert, 25, 44 
*Way, Dr., 45 

Wellington College, 34 f . 

Wesleyans, 97, 284 
*Westcott, Bishop, 33, 66 

Westminster Abbey, 5 

Weymouth Church Conference, 
*White, Dr. H. J., 140 £f. 
*Whittuck, Rev. C. A., 116, 158 

Wickham, Dean, 21, 37 

Wilberforce, Bishop E. R., 322 

Wilberforce, Bishop S., 43 

Williams, Bishop. See Mar- 

Williams, Mr. J. R., 165 

Wiltshire, 166, 198 f . 

Winchester College, 10, 16 

Winterborne Came, 241 

Women, position of, 211, 366 

Wordsworth, Bishop John, 
family and schools, i ff. 

, at New College, 20 f . ; Har. 

row, 31 f. ; Wellington, 

34 f. 

, election to Brasenose, 37 

, work in Brasenose, 39 f. 

, literary plans, 39, 46, 108 f . 

, ordination, 43 

, as a lecturer, 45 f., 76 



Wordsworth, Bishop John, as a 
Latin scholar, 47 f . 

, Fragments and Specimens 

of Early Latin, 48, 53 f . 

, Lectures introductory to a 

History of the Latin Lan- 
guage and Literature, 50 f . 

, betrothal and marriage, 

64 f., 78 

, influence in College, 68 f., 

79 f., 82 f . 

, as a theological scholar, 

59 f., 76 f., 109 £E. 

, assistant to Liddon, 75 

, assistant to Mozley, 103 

, Some Elements of Gospel 

Harmony, 77 

, Bampton Lectures, 104, 

III f., 117 f. 

, University Sermons, 106 

, Prayers for use in College, 


, the Latin Vulgate, 109, 

122, 128, 140 ff. 

, as Proctor, 81, 97 

, share in Oxford contro- 
versies, 70 f., 89 f., 118 

, Letter to the Rev. E. S. 

Talbot, 71 f . 

, Letter to Mr. C. S. Roundell, 

M.P., 1141 

, his theological position, 99 f . 

, election to the Oriel pro- 
fessorship, 127 

, at Rochester, 132 f. 

, election to Salisbury, 135 

, consecration and enthrone- 
ment, 159 f. 

, his idea of the episcopal 

office, 164 f. 

, his episcopal seal, 173 

, relations to the clergy, 

174 f., 191 f. 

, knowledge of the parishes, 

273 f-. 387 
, educational efforts, 200 fE., 

210, 349 f. 
, visit to New Zealand, 208 f . 

Wordsworth, Bishop John, visits 

to Palestine, 217 f. 
, legal and constitutional 

matters, 231 ff. 

, the Lincoln trial, 247 f. 

, attempts to organise the 

National Church, 258 f. 
, attempts to organise the 

Anglican Communion, 


, his Confirmations, 275 f. 

, teaching on marriage, 278 f . 

, relation to Nonconformists, 

97,202, 282 f. ; and efforts 

for reunion, 367, 374 
, consecration of churches, 

284 f. 
, liturgical studies, 189, 

2871, 352 
, ritual controversies, 98, 

291 f., 352 

, ritual practices, 296 f . 

, Eucharistic teaching, 29S f . 

, invocation of saints, 307 f . 

, unction of the sick, 311 f. 

, Italian reformers, 317 f. 

, Old Catholics, 91, 93, 315 f., 

319 f- 
, visits to Holland and 

Germany, 321 fi. 
, De successione episcoporum, 


, De validitate ordinum, 323 

, Rome on English orders, 

326 ff. 
, Responsio Archiepiscopo- 

rum, 327, 331 
■ , Scotland and the Presby- 
terians, 333 f. 
, Episcopate of Bishop Charles 

Wordsworth, 333 
, relations with Eastern 

Churches, 339 f . 

, the Swedish Church, 354 ff. 

, visit to Sweden, 356 f . 

, visit to U.S.A., 360 f. 

, convention at Cincinnati, 

366 f. 



Wordsworth, Bishop Jolm, The 
National Church of Swe- 
den, 375 

, illness and death, 378 

, funeral, 386 

, memorials, 395 

-, honorary distinctions, 206, 

326, 352, 394 

, personal characteristics, 

II f., 28, 70, 80, 205, 349, 
376, 3861 

, habits of life and work, 

182 f. , 224 f., 2531, 342 f., 

- — -, literary methods, 145, 187, 

, estimates of his scholar- 
ship, 54 ff., 140 ff. 
, interest in books, 15, 17, 

85, 255, 360 f., 393 
, interest in languages, 197, 

213, 220 
, attitude to philosophy, 28, 

, interest in nature, 6 f., 213, 

, interest in mechanics and 

architecture, 18, 130, 134, 

179, 201 
, interest in business, 133, 

, interest in music, 23, 83, 

•, recreations, 12, 14, 18, 23, 

41 f., 190 
, as a writer of verse, 2, 26, 

49, 60, 65, 186, 213 
, as a preacher, 106 f., 

187 f., 389 
, in the House of Lords, 204, 

351, 377 

, kindliness, 386 

, impartiality, 170, igo, 295 

Wordsworth, Bishop John, remi- 
niscences : by Mr. A. O. 
Prickard, 10 ; by Arch- 
deacon Bodington,83, 193, 
253; by Dr. H. J.White, 
144 f.; by Miss E. Words- 
worth, 175 ; by Miss B. 
Milford, 180; by the Rev. 
W.A.Crokat, i84;byMr. 
Carnegy Johnson, 224 ; 
by Mons. A. Larpent, 
342 ; by the Rev. J. S. S. 
Johnston, 364, 368, 371, 
388 ; by Mrs. Words- 
worth, 379 ; by Chan- 
cellor Bernard, 387, 389 
Wordsworth family, i 
Wordsworth, Andrew S., 356 
Wordsworth, Bishop Charles, 2, 
215, 223, 333 
*Wordsworth, Sister Charlotte, 

Wordsworth, Bishop Christopher, 
3, 5, 7, 16 f., 38, 61 f., 93 f., 

97, 113, 135. 159 
*Wordsworth, Rev. Christopher 

(Subdean of Sarum), 23, 29, 

no, 121, 123 
*Wordsworth, Miss Elizabeth, 2, 

13. 40. 175 f- 
Wordsworth, John, senior, 2 
"■"Wordsworth, Miss Susan, 216, 

♦Wordsworth, Mrs. M. A. F., 216, 

378 f. 
♦Wordsworth, Mrs. S. E., 78 f. 

82 f., 123, 158, 180, 193, 195, 

207, 325 
Wordsworth Home of Rest, 207 

Yonge, Miss C. M., 213 
Youngman, Rev. G. M., 144 







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